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Mycobacterial spindle cell pseudotumour: epidemiology and clinical outcomes


Introduction Mycobacterial spindle cell pseudotumour (MSP) is a rare disease characterised by tumour-like local proliferation of spindle-shaped histiocytes containing acid-fast positive mycobacteria. The aim of this literature review is to describe the clinical parameters and treatment outcomes of patients with MSP.

Methods A literature search was conducted using the search terms related to mycobacteria and spindle cell tumours. A previously unreported stem cell transplant recipient from our institution diagnosed with MSP was also included. Demographics, comorbidities, site of infection, treatment and clinical outcomes were analysed.

Results Fifty-one patients were analysed. Twenty-six (51%) had HIV infection. Mycobacterium avium complex was the most frequent organism isolated in 24 (47.1%) followed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in eight (16%) cases. Lymph nodes were the most common site of infection (45.1%). Twenty (39.2%) patients received antimycobacterial agents, 12 (23.5%) underwent surgical resection and six (11.8%) received antimycobacterial agents plus surgery. Treatment was successful in 24 (47.1%) patients and failed in 15 (29.4%); 13 of these 15 patients died. Antimycobacterial therapy was significantly associated with successful outcome compared with surgical resection or no treatment (P<0.001).

Conclusion MSP is a rare condition associated primarily with immunodeficiencies. Antimycobacterial therapy is significantly associated with successful outcome.

  • mycobacteria
  • immunodeficiency
  • immunocomprised host
  • infections

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