Elevated interleukin-6 and bronchiectasis as risk factors for acute exacerbation in patients with tuberculosis-destroyed lung with airflow limitation

Jee Youn Oh, Young Seok Lee, Kyung Hoon Min, Gyu Young Hur, Sung Yong Lee, Kyung Ho Kang, Chin Kook Rhee, Seoung Ju Park, Jae Jeong Shim


Background: Patients with tuberculosis-destroyed lungs (TDLs), with airflow limitation, have clinical characteristics similar to those of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Acute exacerbation is an important factor in the management of TDL. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the factors associated with acute exacerbations in patients with stable TDL with airflow limitation.
Methods: We evaluated the clinical characteristics, such as lung function, image findings, and serum laboratory findings, including C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and interleukin (IL)-6, in patients with TDL with chronic airflow limitation (n=94). We evaluated the correlation of these parameters with acute exacerbation.
Results: We found that patients with exacerbation were more likely to have bronchiectasis than those without exacerbation (patients with exacerbation, 66.7%; patients without exacerbation, 30.5%; P=0.001). CRP and IL-6 levels were significantly higher in patients with exacerbation than in those without exacerbation (P=0.001 and P<0.001, respectively). Bronchiectasis [OR, 3.248; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.063–9.928; P=0.039] and elevated IL-6 levels (OR, 1.128; 95% CI, 1.013–1.257; P=0.028) were the most important parameters associated with acute exacerbation in patients with TDL with airflow limitation.
Conclusions: Patients with bronchiectasis and high IL-6 levels may require more intensive treatment to prevent acute exacerbation.