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Beissner, Marcus; Arens, Nathalie; Wiedemann, Franz; Piten, Ebekalisai; Kobara, Basile; Bauer, Malkin; Herbinger, Karl-Heinz; Badziklou, Kossi; Kere, Abiba Banla; Loesher, Thomas; Nitschke, Jörg; Bretzel, Gisela (2015): Treatment Outcome of Patients with Buruli Ulcer Disease in Togo.
In: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(10), e0004170
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Abstract

Background Following introduction of antimycobacterial treatment of Buruli ulcer disease (BUD),several clinical studies evaluated treatment outcomes of BUD patients, in particular healing times, secondary lesions and functional limitations. Whereas recurrences were rarely observed, paradoxical reactions and functional limitations frequently occurred. Although systematic BUD control in Togo was established as early as 2007, treatment outcome has not been reviewed to date. Therefore, a pilot project on post-treatment follow-up of BUD patients in Togo aimed to evaluate treatment outcomes and to provide recommendations for optimization of treatment success. Methodology/Principal Findings Out of 199 laboratory confirmed BUD patients, 129 could be enrolled in the study. The lesions of 109 patients (84.5%) were completely healed without any complications, 5 patients (3.9%) had secondary lesions and 15 patients (11.6%) had functional limitations. Edema, category III ulcers >15cm, healing times >180 days and a limitation of movement at time of discharge constituted the main risk factors significantly associated with BUD related functional limitations (P<0.01). Review of all BUD related documentation revealed major shortcomings, in particular concerning medical records on adjuvant surgical and physiotherapeutic treatment. Conclusions/Significance This study presents the first systematic analysis of treatment outcome of BUD patients from Togo. Median times to healing and the absence of recurrences were in line with findings reported by other investigators. The percentage of functional limitations of 11.6% was lower than in other studies, and edema, category III ulcers, healing time >180 days and limitation of movement at discharge constituted the main risk factors for functional limitations in Togolese BUD patients. Standardized treatment plans, patient assessment and follow-up, as well as improved management of medical records are recommended to allow for intensified monitoring of disease progression and healing process, to facilitate implementation of therapeutic measures and to optimize treatment success.