Better Completion of Pediatric Latent Tuberculosis Treatment Using 4 Months of Rifampin in a US-based Tuberculosis Clinic

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Background:Children less than 5 years of age have the highest age-specific rate of progression from latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) to active disease. Therefore, regimens for treatment of pediatric LTBI must be not only efficacious but practical enough to overcome the unique childhood barriers to regimen adherence. Since 2012, a 4-month regimen of daily rifampin (4R) has been the standard recommendation for pediatric LTBI at the Denver Metro Tuberculosis Clinic.Methods:Using univariate and multivariate analyses, we compared treatment completion rates between 4R and 9-month isoniazid (9H) regimens for all pediatric patients treated for LTBI at the Denver Metro Tuberculosis Clinic between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2015, and assessed the influence of clinical and demographic characteristics on successful completion of the 2 regimens.Results:There were 395 children in the 4R cohort and 779 in the 9H cohort. Completion rates overall were significantly higher for 4R than 9H (83.5% vs. 68.8%, P < 0.001). Drug toxicity leading to treatment noncompletion was low in both groups (1.5% in 4R and 0.7% in 9H, P = 0.23), and no patient progressed to active tuberculosis in either cohort. The 9H cohort was more likely to fail treatment completion because of barriers potentially related to the longer duration of treatment such as relocation or loss to follow-up.Conclusions:Pediatric patients were significantly more likely to complete LTBI treatment using a 4R than with a 9-month isoniazid regimen. Better completion rates of 4R may increase efficacy of tuberculosis prevention and decrease demand on public health resources.

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