We performed a randomised, controlled clinical trial to compare ambulant short-course chemotherapy with anterior spinal fusion plus short-course chemotherapy for spinal tuberculosis without paraplegia. Patients with active disease of vertebral bodies were randomly allocated to one of three regimens: a) radical anterior resection with bone grafting plus six months of daily isoniazid plus rifampicin (Rad6); b) ambulant chemotherapy for six months with daily isoniazid plus rifampicin (Amb6); or c) similar to b) but with chemotherapy for nine months (Amb9).
Ten years from the onset of treatment, 90% of 78 Rad6, 94% of 78 Amb6 and 99% of 79 Amb9 patients had a favourable status.
Ambulant chemotherapy for a period of six months with daily isoniazid plus rifampicin (Amb6) was an effective treatment for spinal tuberculosis except in patients aged less than 15 years with an initial angle of kyphosis of more than 30° whose kyphosis increased substantially.
- Received April 20, 1998.
- Accepted October 13, 1998.
- © 1999 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery