Profile and Outcome of Unilateral Tuberculous Lung Destruction in Ilorin, Nigeria

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BACKGROUND: Unilateral tuberculous lung destruction is a serious chronically disabling and often fatal complication of pulmonary tuberculosis. A few previous studies have dealt with some aspects of this entity among Nigerians with pulmonary tuberculosis but these studies may not truly reflect its current trends. OBJECTIVE: To describe the presenting profiles and outcome of unilateral tuberculous lung destruction among patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. METHODS: The study was a chart review of the medical records of adult patients with pulmonary tuberculosis complicated by unilateral lung destruction seen between January 1999– December 2008. Data extracted included demographic, and outcome of treatment. The clinical features, sputum results and illustrative cases are presented. RESULTS: Unilateral lung destruction complicated 74(1.3%) of 5,926 pulmonary tuberculosis cases seen over the review period. Most cases occurred in males [45(60.8%)] and they were predominantly [51(68.9%)] below 40 years of age. Most of them [52(70.2%)] presented after six months of symptoms. Forty-seven (63.5%) of them had had previous exposure to antituberculosis drugs. The left lung was affected in 49 (66.2%) patients. Only 25 (33.8%) of them were cured while the adjusted mortality rate was 25.5%. Male gender, presence of dyspnoea on mild exertion and right ventricular failure were significantly associated with increased mortality. CONCLUSION: Unilateral tuberculous lung destruction has unacceptably high mortality rate which can be prevented by patient presenting early to the hospital, prompt diagnosis and strict adherence to the standard treatment. WAJM 2011; 30(2): 130–135.



Lung destruction, pulmonary tuberculosis, Nigerians