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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2003 Aug;7(8):771-6.

Urinary neopterin measurement as a non-invasive diagnostic method in pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Gulhane Askeri Tip Akademisi, Ankara, Turkey.



Pulmonary department of a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey.


To investigate the usefulness of neopterin in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) as a rapid diagnostic tool.


Neopterin concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL), serum and urine were measured in patients with PTB, with lung cancer and with pneumonia and in a healthy control group.


In the BAL of PTB patients, serum and urine levels of neopterin were significantly higher than all the other groups (P < 0.001). Compared with the lung cancer group, PTB patients had higher neopterin in BAL and urine (P < 0.05). The PTB group had higher levels not only in BAL and urine, but also in serum, than the pneumonia group (P < 0.05). Compared with the pneumonia group and the healthy controls, neopterin levels in serum and urine were significantly higher in the lung cancer group (P < 0.05). In the PTB group, patients with moderately advanced PTB according to radiographic extent had higher levels of urine neopterin than patients with minimal disease (P = 0.01).


Neopterin levels in BAL, serum and particularly in urine may reflect PTB activity before exact diagnosis of the disease by culture results, and correlates with radiological extent.

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