What is the prognosis of dermatologic manifestations of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI) infection?

Updated: May 27, 2021
  • Author: Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Primary cutaneous involvement of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI) does not usually result in systemic disease and most often occurs in otherwise healthy individuals; therefore, the prognosis is favorable, because treatment is generally curative. One review of 30 cases found that treatment duration can range from 2-16 months. [1]

The relationship between cutaneous lesions and mortality in disseminated MAI (DMAI) infection is unknown, and controversy remains regarding the impact of disseminated MAI (DMAI) infection on life expectancy in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nonetheless, untreated DMAI infection in this population (patients with AIDS) is clearly associated with an increased mortality rate.

Primary cutaneous MAI infection and atypical Mycobacterium -induced cervical adenitis are responsive to combined surgical and medical treatment. However, cervical adenitis may cause local destruction of superficial structures and may result in significant cosmetic and functional impairment without treatment. Dissemination beyond the primary site is rare. Nonetheless, the proximity to the trachea and the oropharynx may result in airway compromise and should be considered when evaluating patients with cervical adenitis.

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