Tuberculosis: Assessment, Analysis, and Associated Dental Management Guidelines
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is an aerobic, acid-fast bacillus that usually affects the lungs. There has been an increased incidence of MTB secondary to HIV, homelessness, and emigration. Ninety percent of the adult cases of tuberculosis (TB) are due to reactivation of a dormant infection.
Risk factors for TB are HIV; diabetes; prolonged steroid use; alcoholism; immunosuppressive treatment; and being a prisoner, nursing-home resident, or healthcare worker; and close contact with infectious patients, underweight patients, and persons from countries with a high TB prevalence.
TB is spread from person to person through the air via coughed-infected droplets. Coughed-up, aerosolized particles stay around for a long time and infect susceptible individuals.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
Symptoms and signs frequently associated with TB are fever, chest pain, chills, cough, weight loss, hemoptysis, night fever, night sweats, and fatigue.
The diagnosis of TB is made with:
|Induration Size||At-Risk Populations|
|5mm induration:||A 5mm reaction is positive in:
|10mm induration:||A 10mm reaction is positive in:
|15mm induration:||A 15mm reaction is positive in:
WHEN TO INITIATE TB TREATMENT
Treatment for TB should be initiated with the presence of a positive AFB smear or when there is a high clinical suspicion.
TYPES/FORMS OF TB
The three forms of TB are:
- Latent TB
- Active TB/Pulmonary TB
- Multidrug-Resistant (MDR) and Extensively Drug-Resistant (XDR) TB
With latent TB the patient has a positive skin test; negative chest x-ray; and no symptoms, signs, or physical findings of TB. The patient is treated to prevent future reactivation to the active form of TB.
Active TB/Pulmonary TB
A patient is said to have active/pulmonary TB when the patient has a positive skin test; the chest x-ray may be abnormal; the patient experiences fever, cough, night sweats, hemopytosis, anorexia, and weight loss; and the respiratory specimen smear test is positive.
Multidrug Resistant (MDR) and Extensively Drug-Resistant (XDR) TB
The four-drug standard regimen, or the first-line, anti-TB drugs, when used correctly can successfully treat TB. When these drugs are used incompletely, incorrectly, or not at all, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) can develop. Drug-resistant TB is a dangerous form of TB caused by the TB bacillus becoming resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB takes longer to treat with second-line drugs and the care is often expensive. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) develops when the second-line drugs are also incompletely or inappropriately used, such that they become ineffective. Treatment options for XDR-TB are even more restrictive and expensive because the patient has severe resistance to the first and second line of TB treatment.
Latent TB Treatment
New CDC guidelines for managing latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI): Tuberculosis can be prevented by treating latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Studies have shown that a new combination of isoniazid (INH) and rifapentine (RPT) given once-per-week for 12 weeks, as directly observed therapy (DOT) to otherwise healthy people ages 12 and older who are at high risk for developing TB, is very effective in preventing TB. The new INH-RPT DOT regimen is beneficial for use in correctional institutions and homeless shelters.