Table 1 Summary of tuberculosis treatment outcome criteria according to the WHO/IUATLD recommendations, including European guidelines
Definite case with pulmonary tuberculosis
Culture confirmedSputum smear microscopy confirmed
CuredDocumented conversion of culture during the continuation phaseSputum smears negative on two occasions at the end of treatment
Treatment completedDocumented treatment completion, but no documented culture conversionDocumented treatment completion, but not sputum smear microscopy available at the end of treatment
Treatment failureCulture remaining or again becoming positive at 5 months of treatment or laterSputum smears remaining or again becoming positive at 5 months of treatment or later
DeathDeath of the patient irrespective of cause at any time before envisaged end of treatmentDeath of the patient irrespective of cause at any time before envisaged end of treatment
Treatment interruptedPatient off treatment for 2 consecutive months or more or failure to complete treatment within 9 months for a 6 month or within 12 months for a 9 month regimen or drug intake less than 80%Patient off treatment for 2 consecutive months or more or failure to complete treatment within 9 months for a 6 month or within 12 months for a 9 month regimen or drug intake less than 80%
Transfer outA patient referred to another clinician for treatment in whom information on treatment outcome cannot be obtainedA patient referred to another clinician for treatment in whom information on treatment outcome cannot be obtained
  • Successful treatment outcome: patients declared cured or completed treatment.

  • Unsatisfactory outcome: patients who interrupted treatment, were transferred out or failed on treatment,

  • Death, patients who died before the diagnosis of tuberculosis was established or died during the course of treatment either with or from tuberculosis.

  • IUATLD, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; WHO, World Health Organization.