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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42592. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042592. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Predictors and prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection in patients receiving long-term hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

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  • 1Department of Traumatology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan.



Tuberculosis is a common infectious disease in long-term dialysis patients. The prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in this population is unclear, particularly in those receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD). This study investigated the prevalence of LTBI in patients receiving either hemodialysis (HD) or PD to determine predictors of LTBI and indeterminate results of interferon-gamma release assay.


Patients receiving long-term (≥ 3 months) HD or PD from March 2011 to February 2012 in two medical centers were prospectively enrolled. QuantiFERON-Gold in tube (QFT) test was used to determine the status of LTBI after excluding active tuberculosis. The LTBI prevalence was determined in patients receiving different dialysis modes to obtain predictors of LTBI and QFT-indeterminate results.


Of 427 patients enrolled (124 PD and 303 HD), 91 (21.3%) were QFT-positive, 316 (74.0%) QFT-negative, and 20 (4.7%) QFT-indeterminate. The prevalence of LTBI was similar in the PD and HD groups. Independent predictors of LTBI were old age (OR: 1.034 [1.013-1.056] per year increment), TB history (OR: 6.467 [1.985-21.066]), and current smoker (OR: 2.675 [1.061-6.747]). Factors associated with indeterminate QFT results were HD (OR: 10.535 [1.336-83.093]), dialysis duration (OR: 1.113 [1.015-1.221] per year increment), anemia (OR: 8.760 [1.014-75.651]), and serum albumin level (OR: 0.244 [0.086-0.693] per 1 g/dL increment).


More than one-fifth of dialysis patients have LTBI. The LTBI prevalence is similar in PD and HD patients but is higher in the elderly, current smokers, and those with prior TB history. Such patients require closer follow-up. Repeated or alternative test may be required for malnutrition patients who received long length of HD.

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