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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Mortality among patients with tuberculosis requiring intensive care: a retrospective cohort study

Denise R Silva*, Diego M Menegotto, Luis F Schulz, Marcelo B Gazzana and Paulo TR Dalcin

Author Affiliations

Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS); Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:54  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-54

Published: 7 March 2010



To describe the characteristics of patients with tuberculosis (TB) requiring intensive care and to identify the factors that predicts in-hospital mortality in a city of a developing country with intermediate-to-high TB endemicity.


We conducted a retrospective, cohort study, between November 2005 and November 2007. The patients with TB requiring intensive care were included. Predictors of mortality were assessed. The primary outcome was the in-hospital mortality.


During the study period, 67 patients with TB required intensive care. Of them, 62 (92.5%) had acute respiratory failure and required mechanical ventilation. Forty-four (65.7%) patients died. Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus was present in 46 (68.7%) patients. Early intensive care unit admission and ventilator-associated pneumonia were independently associated with the in-hospital mortality.


In this study we found a high mortality rate in TB patients requiring intensive care, especially in those with an early ICU admission.