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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013 Nov;17(11):1383-8. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.13.0348.

Role of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test in the diagnosis of intrathoracic childhood tuberculosis.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.



Tertiary care hospitals in India.


To compare the performance of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) with that of the tuberculin skin test (TST) in the diagnosis of intrathoracic childhood tuberculosis (TB).


Children with intrathoracic TB were enrolled in a randomised controlled trial studying micronutrient supplementation in intrathoracic TB. They underwent TST and QFT-GIT before starting daily anti-tuberculosis treatment.


Of 362 children (median age 115.5 months, IQR 73-144, 55% girls) enrolled in the study, microbiological confirmation of TB was obtained in 128 (35%). The TST was positive in 337 (93%, 95%CI 90-95.5) and QFT-GIT in 297 (82%, 95%CI 77.8-85.6). Sensitivity of TST and QFT-GIT in culture-confirmed TB cases was respectively 90.5% (95%CI 84.1-94.5) and 82.6% (95%CI 74.9-88.4). QFT-GIT positivity rate correlated with TST induration (P < 0.001). TST was influenced by the disease spectrum (P = 0.004) and the age of the children (P = 0.002); QFT-GIT remained unaffected by these factors. Bacille Calmette-Guérin immunisation status, weight-for-age Z-scores and microbiological confirmation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis did not influence the performance of either test.


In high-burden countries, QFT-GIT is comparable to TST and offers no added advantage in the diagnosis of childhood intrathoracic TB.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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