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Feb 25, 2001

My mother has Crohn's disease. As a result of long-term use of predinose, she has little immunity. Therefore, she has MAC. It had manifested in her calves causing sores. They cleared and now there's concern that the MAC has traveled elsewhere in her body. Her white count is 24,000. A blood culture has been performed and a spinal tap will be, if necessary. Is it possible that the MAC could manifest in her brain? Is MAC a chronic condition? If so, how should she be treated with the complexities of active Crohn's?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

MAC infection has been found in the brain but that is an unusual site. When a person's immune system is damaged by infection or medication, then usually the MAC can be controlled but not cured. MAC is typically treated with a combination of 2 or 3 antibiotics: azithromycin or clarithromycin plus ethambutol and sometimes rifabutin as well.

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