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Background. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) after tuberculosis (TB) is typically not included among the chronic lung diseases causing PH (group 3 PH), with few data available to support the inclusion.
Objectives. To determine the prevalence of PH in an adult population completing TB treatment.
Methods. This single-centre, cross-sectional study only included patients with their first documented episode of TB, and who were in the second half of treatment or had recently completed treatment. PH was assessed using transthoracic echocardiography. Questionnaires were also completed and spirometry and a 6-minute walk test were performed.
Results. One hundred patients were enrolled, with a mean age of 37.1 years, of whom 58% were male and 46% HIV positive. The median time since initiation of TB treatment was 22 weeks. The mean (standard deviation) measured right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) was 23.6 (6.24) mmHg. One participant had PH (defined as RVSP ≥40 mmHg; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.0 - 3.0) and a further 3 had possible PH (RVSP ≥35 and <40 mmHg), with a combined PH prevalence of 4% (95% CI 0.2 - 7.8). Airflow obstruction on spirometry was found in 13.3% of 98 patients, while 25.5% had a reduced forced vital capacity. There was no association between RVSP or PH/possible PH and sex, age, HIV status, systemic hypertension, spirometry measurements or 6-minute walking distance. Smoking status was associated with RVSP, but not with the presence of PH/possible PH.
Conclusion. There was a significant prevalence of PH in this preliminary study of predominantly young patients completing treatment for a first episode of TB. Larger and more detailed studies are warranted.
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