Assessment of lung function in successfully treated tuberculosis reveals high burden of ventilatory defects and COPD

Post Date: 
PLoS One


We performed spirometry with bronchodilators in new drug-sensitive adult (≥18 years) pulmonary tuberculosis cases during the 12 months following successful treatment in India. Airflow obstruction was defined as pre-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC<5th percentile of Global Lung Initiative mixed-ethnicity reference (lower limit of normal [LLN]). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was defined as post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC<LLN among participants with obstruction. Restrictive spirometry pattern was defined as FVC<LLN among participants without obstruction. Multivariable logistic and linear regression was used to identify risk-factors for obstruction, restriction and low lung function despite successful treatment.


Of the 172 participants included in the analysis, 82 (48%) were female, 22 (13%) had diabetes and 34 (20%) ever-smoked with a median (IQR) exposure of 3.5 (0.2-9.9) pack-years. Median (IQR) age and body-mass index (BMI) at enrollment was 32 (23-39) years and 18.1 (16.0-20.5) kg/m2 respectively. Airflow obstruction was detected in 42 (24%) participants; of whom 9 (21%) responded to short-acting bronchodilators and 25 (56%) had COPD; and was associated with duration of illness prior to treatment (aOR = 1.32 per 30-days, 95%CI 1.04-1.68, p = 0.02). A restrictive spirometry pattern was detected in 89 (52%) participants and was associated with female sex (aOR = 3.73, 95%CI 1.51-9.17, p = 0.004) and diabetes (aOR = 4.06, 95%CI 1.14-14.42, p = 0.03). Higher HbA1c at treatment initiation was associated with greater odds of a restrictive spirometry pattern (aOR = 1.29 per unit higher HbA1c, 95%CI 1.04 to 1.60, p = 0.02).


We found a high burden of lung function defects and COPD in tuberculosis cases who successfully completed treatment. Screening for chronic lung diseases following treatment and linkage to respiratory health clinics should be included in the routine management plan of all tuberculosis cases in India, regardless of conventional COPD risk-factors such as older age and smoking.

Gupte AN, Paradkar M, Selvaraju S, Thiruvengadam K, Shivakumar SVBY, Sekar K, Marinaik S, Momin A, Gaikwad A, Natrajan P, Prithivi M, Shivaramakrishnan G, Pradhan N, Kohli R, Raskar S, Jain D, Velu R, Karthavarayan B, Lokhande R, Suryavanshi N, Gupte N, Murali L, Salvi S, Checkley W, Golub J, Bollinger R, Mave V, Padmapriyadarasini C, Gupta A. Assessment of lung function in successfully treated tuberculosis reveals high burden of ventilatory defects and COPD. PLoS One. 2019 May 23;14(5):e0217289. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217289. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31120971; PMCID: PMC6532904 .