Development of a risk score for prediction of poor treatment outcomes among patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

Alene, Kefyalew Addis, Viney, Kerri, Gray, Darren J., McBryde, Emma S., Xu, Zuhui, and Clements, Archie C.A. (2020) Development of a risk score for prediction of poor treatment outcomes among patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. PLoS ONE, 15 (1). e0227100.

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Treatment outcomes among patients treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are often sub-optimal. Therefore, the early prediction of poor treatment outcomes may be useful in patient care, especially for clinicians when they have the ability to make treatment decisions or offer counselling or additional support to patients. The aim of this study was to develop a simple clinical risk score to predict poor treatment outcomes in patients with MDR-TB, using routinely collected data from two large countries in geographically distinct regions.


We used MDR-TB data collected from Hunan Chest Hospital, China and Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia. The data were divided into derivation (n = 343; 60%) and validation groups (n = 227; 40%). A poor treatment outcome was defined as treatment failure, lost to follow up or death. A risk score for poor treatment outcomes was derived using a Cox proportional hazard model in the derivation group. The model was then validated in the validation group.


The overall rate of poor treatment outcome was 39.5% (n = 225); 37.9% (n = 86) in the derivation group and 40.5% (n = 139) in the validation group. Three variables were identified as predictors of poor treatment outcomes, and each was assigned a number of points proportional to its regression coefficient. These predictors and their points were: 1) history of taking second-line TB treatment (2 points), 2) resistance to any fluoroquinolones (3 points), and 3) smear did not convert from positive to negative at two months (4 points). We summed these points to calculate the risk score for each patient; three risk groups were defined: low risk (0 to 2 points), medium risk (3 to 5 points), and high risk (6 to 9 points). In the derivation group, poor treatment outcomes were reported for these three groups as 14%, 27%, and 71%, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the point system in the derivation group was 0.69 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.77) and was similar to that in the validation group (0.67; 95% CI 0.56 to 0.78; p = 0.82).


History of second-line TB treatment, resistance to any fluoroquinolones, and smear non-conversion at two months can be used to estimate the risk of poor treatment outcome in patients with MDR-TB with a moderate degree of accuracy (AUROC = 0.69).

Item ID: 67124
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: ©2020 Alene et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Sidney Sax Early Career Fellowship, NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 02:06
FoR Codes: 49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4901 Applied mathematics > 490102 Biological mathematics @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 70%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200404 Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) @ 80%
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200205 Health policy evaluation @ 20%
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