Radiographic characteristics of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in the STREAM stage 1 trial and their influence on time to culture conversion in the short regimen

Chen Yuan Chiang, Henry Bern, Ruth Goodall, Shun Tien Chien, I. D. Rusen, Andrew Nunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stage 1 of the STREAM trial demonstrated that the 9 month (Short) regimen developed in Bangladesh was non-inferior to the 20 month (Long) 2011 World Health Organization recommended regimen. We assess the association between HIV infection and radiographic manifestations of tuberculosis and factors associated with time to culture conversion in Stage 1 of the STREAM trial. Methods: Reading of chest radiographs was undertaken independently by two clinicians, and films with discordant reading were read by a third reader. Recording of abnormal opacity of the lung parenchyma included location (right upper, right lower, left upper, and left lower) and extent of disease (minimal, moderately-advanced, and far advanced). Time to culture conversion was defined as the number of days from initiation of treatment to the first of two consecutive negative culture results, and compared using the log-rank test, stratified by country. Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by country and adjusted for HIV status, were used to identify factors associated with culture conversion. Results: Of the 364 participants, all but one had an abnormal chest X-ray: 347 (95%) had opacities over upper lung fields, 318 (87%) had opacities over lower lung fields, 124 (34%) had far advanced pulmonary involvement, and 281 (77%) had cavitation. There was no significant association between HIV and locations of lung parenchymal opacities, extent of opacities, the presence of cavitation, and location of cavitation. Participants infected with HIV were significantly less likely to have the highest positivity grade (3+) of sputum culture (p = 0.035) as compared to participants not infected with HIV. Cavitation was significantly associated with high smear positivity grades (p < 0.001) and high culture positivity grades (p = 0.004) among all participants. Co-infection with HIV was associated with a shorter time to culture conversion (hazard ratio 1.59, 95% CI 1.05–2.40). Conclusions: Radiographic manifestations of tuberculosis among the HIV-infected in the era of anti-retroviral therapy may not differ from that among those who were not infected with HIV. Radiographic manifestations were not consistently associated with time to culture conversion, perhaps indicating that the Short regimen is sufficiently powerful in achieving sputum conversion across the spectrum of radiographic pulmonary involvements. Trial registration: ISRCTN ISRCTN78372190. Registered 14/10/2010. The date of first registration 10/02/2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Cavitation
  • Culture conversion
  • HIV
  • Opacity
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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