Clofazimine-containing regimen for the treatment of mycobacterium abscessus lung disease

Bumhee Yang, Byung Woo Jhun, Seong Mi Moon, Hyun Lee, Hye Yun Park, Kyeongman Jeon, Dae Hun Kim, Su Young Kim, Sung Jae Shin, Charles L. Daley, Won Jung Koh

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with lung disease caused by Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. abscessus (here M. abscessus) typically have poor treatment outcomes. Although clofazimine (CFZ) has been increasingly used in the treatment of M. abscessus lung disease in clinical practice, there are no reported data on its effectiveness for this disease. This study sought to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a CFZ-containing regimen for the treatment of M. abscessus lung disease. We performed a retrospective review of the medical records of 42 patients with M. abscessus lung disease who were treated with CFZ-containing regimens between November 2013 and January 2015. CFZ was administered in combination with other antibiotics as an initial antibiotic regimen in 15 (36%) patients (initial treatment group), and it was added to an existing antibiotic regimen for refractory M. abscessus lung disease in 27 (64%) patients (salvage treatment group). Overall, there was an 81% treatment response rate based on symptoms and a 31% response rate based on radiographic findings. Conversion to culture-negative sputum samples was achieved in 10 (24%) patients after CFZ-containing antibiotic treatment, and during treatment, there were significant decreases in the positivity of semiquantitative sputum cultures for acid-fast bacilli in both the initial (P = 0.018) and salvage (P = 0.001) treatment groups. Our study suggests that CFZ-containing regimens may improve treatment outcomes in patients with M. abscessus lung disease and that a prospective evaluation of CFZ in M. abscessus lung disease is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02052-16
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (NRF-2015R1A2A1A01003959) and by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R & D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI15C2778).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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