BACKGROUND--Tuberculous pleurisy is associated with small numbers of bacteria. Due to the low rate of primary resistance to antituberculous drugs a two-drug regimen was used to treat the condition. METHODS--Patients received isoniazid 5 mg/kg and rifampicin 10 mg/kg daily for six months. Clinical, radiological, and haematological assessments were performed during treatment and patients were followed up for a median period of 41 (range 6-96) months. RESULTS--One hundred and thirty patients were studied with a mean age of 27 (range 11-53) years. Seven were withdrawn due to parenchymal disease and eight were lost to follow up during the treatment period. Side effects during treatment were frequent (20.7%), but only three patients required a change in medication. No treatment failures were observed. One hundred and fifteen patients completed therapy and were followed up for 41 (range 6-96) months with no evidence of a relapse. CONCLUSIONS--Tuberculous pleurisy responds well to a two-drug regimen of antituberculous therapy given for six months.
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