Linezolid-Associated Optic Neuropathy in Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Patients in Mumbai, India

Citation: Mehta S, Das M, Laxmeshwar C, Jonckheere S, Thi SS, Isaakidis P (2016) Linezolid-Associated Optic Neuropathy in Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Patients in Mumbai, India. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0162138. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162138
Published: September 9, 2016

linezolid-from-xtal-2008-3d-ballsBackground: Patients on linezolid-containing drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) regimen often develop adverse-events, particularly peripheral and optic neuropathy. Programmatic data and experiences of linezolid-associated optic neuropathy from high DR-TB burden settings are lacking. The study aimed to determine the frequency of and risk-factors associated with linezolid-associated optic neuropathy and document the experiences related to treatment/care of DR-TB patients on linezolid-containing regimens.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study using routine clinical and laboratory data in Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) HIV/DR-TB clinic in collaboration with Lilavati Hospital & Research Center, Mumbai, India. All DR-TB patients on linezolid-containing treatment regimens were included in the study and underwent routine evaluations for systemic and/or ocular complaints. Ophthalmological evaluation by a consultant ophthalmologist included visual-acuity screening, slit-lamp examination and dilated fundus examination.
Results: During January 2013-April 2016, 86 of 136 patients (with/without HIV co-infection) initiated linezolid-containing DR-TB treatment. The median age of these 86 patients was 25 (20–35) years and 47% were males. 20 percent of them had HIV co-infection. Of 86, 24 (27.9%) had at least one episode of ocular complaints (the majority blurred-vision) and among them, five (5.8%) had optic neuropathy. Patients received appropriate treatment and improvements were observed. None of the demographic/clinical factors were associated with optic neuropathy in Poissons or multivariate binary logistic-regression models.
Discussion: This is the first report focusing on optic neuropathy in a cohort of complex DR-TB patients, including patients co-infected with HIV, receiving linezolid-containing regimens. In our study, one out of four patients on linezolid had at least one episode of ocular complaints; therefore, systematic monitoring of patients by primary physicians/nurses, and access to specialized diagnostic-services by specialists are needed. As linezolid will be increasingly added to treatment regimens of DR-TB patients, programmes should allocate adequate resources for early diagnosis, prevention and management of this disabling adverse event.


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