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Epidemiology, detection, and management of tuberculosis among end-stage renal disease patients

  • Reiko C. Okada (a1), Pennan M. Barry (a2), Jacek Skarbinski (a3) and Amit S. Chitnis (a1)


Tuberculosis (TB) remains an important problem among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. We reviewed the epidemiology of TB and ESRD, investigations of TB exposures in US dialysis facilities, and published guidelines to inform screening and treatment practices among US ESRD patients. Compared to TB in the general population, ESRD patients have 6–25-fold higher TB incidence rates, and mortality during treatment is 2–3-fold higher. Most TB cases among ESRD patients (~90%) occur among non–US-born persons, and an analysis of genotyping data suggests that 80% of all cases result from latent TB infection (LTBI) reactivation. Published TB contact investigations in dialysis facilities have reported cases among ESRD patients and healthcare workers. However, transmission of TB is rare: there were no reports of secondary cases of TB because of exposure to an index-case patient and there were few TB infections, which was demonstrated by low occurrence of newly positive tuberculin skin tests (12%–16%) and conversions (8%–17%) among contacts. Targeted TB education, screening, and treatment for ESRD patients at highest risk for TB exposure (eg, non–US-born persons), using interferon-gamma release assays and short course LTBI regimens (ie, isoniazid-rifapentine weekly for 12 weeks or rifampin daily for 4 months) may be an effective overall strategy for reducing TB burden in ESRD patients.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Amit S. Chitnis MD, MPH, 1000 San Leandro Blvd, First Floor, San Leandro, CA 94577. E-mail:


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Epidemiology, detection, and management of tuberculosis among end-stage renal disease patients

  • Reiko C. Okada (a1), Pennan M. Barry (a2), Jacek Skarbinski (a3) and Amit S. Chitnis (a1)


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