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BMC Infect Dis. 2012 Jun 22;12:141. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-12-141.

Fiberoptic bronchoscopy for the rapid diagnosis of smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, 211 Eonju-ro, Seoul 135-720, South Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study was aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) with chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) for the rapid diagnosis of active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in patients suspected of PTB but found to have a negative sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear.

METHODS:

We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of results from FOB and HRCT in 126 patients at Gangnam Severance Hospital (Seoul, Korea) who were suspected of having PTB.

RESULTS:

Of 126 patients who had negative sputum AFB smears but were suspected of having PTB, 54 patients were confirmed as having active PTB. Hemoptysis was negatively correlated with active PTB. Tree-in-bud appearance on HRCT was significantly associated with active PTB. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of FOB alone was 75.9%, 97.2%, 95.3%, and 84.3%, respectively, for the rapid diagnosis of active PTB. The combination of FOB and HRCT improved the sensitivity to 96.3% and the NPV to 96.2%.

CONCLUSIONS:

FOB is a useful tool in the rapid diagnosis of active PTB with a high sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV in sputum smear-negative PTB-suspected patients. HRCT improves the sensitivity of FOB when used in combination with FOB in sputum smear-negative patients suspected of having PTB.

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