Background: In multidrug regimens, including an intravenous aminoglycoside (e.g. amikacin [AMK]) is recommended for difficult-to-treat non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung diseases. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and feasibility of inhaled AMK therapy in patients with difficult-to-treat NTM lung diseases in a retrospective chart review. Methods: The study population consisted of patients with NTM lung diseases who received combination therapy, including inhaled AMK therapy, at Keio University Hospital (Tokyo, Japan), from January 2014 through May 2016. A total of 26 cases, consisting of 23 Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and three Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABC) infections cases, were included in this study. The efficacy, safety, and feasibility of inhaled AMK therapy were retrospectively investigated. The Research Ethics Committee of Keio University Hospital approved this study, and informed consent was obtained from all patients. Results: All 26 patients were culture-positive at enrolment. Twenty-three of the 26 patients (88.5%), including 21/23 MAC patients (91.3%) and 2/3 MABC patients (66.7%), were administered inhaled AMK therapy for >3months. The proportion of patients who had clinical symptoms, including, cough and sputum, declined after inhalation AMK therapy. Ten of the 23 patients (43.5%) who received AMK inhalation, including 8/21 MAC (38.1%) and 2/2 MABC patients (100%), showed sputum conversion, defined as at least three consecutive negative sputum cultures. Seven of the 23 patients, including, 5/21 MAC and 2/2 MABC patients, showed improvements in high-resolution computed tomography imaging of the chest. In addition, the serum AMK trough levels before the second inhalation were <1.2μg/mL in all 26 patients, with no occurrence of severe adverse events, such as renal toxicity. One patient (3.8%) experienced auditory toxicity, in the form of tinnitus. However, this symptom was reversible, after temporary interruption of AMK, the patient was able to safely resume the therapy. Conclusions: Inhaled AMK therapy is an effective and feasible therapy for difficult-to-treat NTM lung disease.
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