Shorter DR-TB treatment regimens and cardiac monitoring

Cardiac monitoring for people on novel short DR-TB treatment regimens can be decentralized and accessible.

Dealing with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) has always been tough for people with tuberculosis (TB) and healthcare systems around the world. But now, we’re seeing exciting progress with new TB drugs like bedaquiline and pretomanid, alongside revamped medicines like fluoroquinolones, linezolid and clofazimine. These advancements mean shorter, safer, and easier treatment regimens for people with DR-TB. However, some of these drugs come with new challenges to take into account as they may pose a risk for cardiac wellbeing, with cases experiencing arrhythmias with QT prolongation. Because of this, it is crucial to provide people under regimens with cardiotoxic medications with regular monitoring through electrocardiogram (ECG) tests to assess their cardiac health as part of an active drug safety monitoring and management (aDSM).

The problem?

Getting to a healthcare facility for these tests can be a hassle, especially when ECG is not accessible across healthcare facilities in the region and people with DR-TB under treatment need to travel long distances to reach this resource.

Colleagues from our office collaborated in a study conducted in Kazakhstan where an ambulatory approach to ECG was carried out using KardiaMobile 6L (KM6L). KM6L is an ECG device, approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for detection of heart rhythm variances, including QT prolongation, useful for monitoring the risk for people on DR-TB short treatment regimens. Results from this study reflect the opportunity there is for person-centered approaches to TB treatment and monitoring, putting health back in the hands of the people with TB supported by digital health innovations.

Learn more about this study HERE , or access our gallery of publications HERE .

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 120 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB prevention and care, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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