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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2007 Nov;11(11):1177-82.

Interferon-gamma assays for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection before using tumour necrosis factor-alpha blockers.

Author information

1
Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Pediatric Pulmonary Diseases Unit, Ankara, Turkey. nazanc@hacettepe.edu.tr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Patients who receive tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) blockers are mostly immunosuppressed. A study was performed to investigate whether an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) assay could represent an alternative approach to the tuberculin skin test (TST) for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in these patients.

DESIGN:

We prospectively enrolled 106 individuals into the study in two groups. Group 1 consisted of 38 healthy individuals and Group 2 included 68 patients with chronic inflammatory diseases evaluated for LTBI before the use of TNF-alpha blockers.

RESULTS:

Of all participants, nine had indeterminate IFN-gamma test results. Agreement between the two tests was poor in both groups (kappa values respectively -0.54 and 0.18). In a total of 97 subjects, 10 (10.3%) were positive by the IFN-gamma test and 49 (50.5%) by TST.

CONCLUSION:

We found poor agreement between TST and the IFN-gamma test in our study. Our limited preliminary data should be accepted as a basis for designing future studies that will be helpful for physicians to decide whether the IFN-gamma test is more sensitive than the TST test in detecting LTBI before the use of TNF-alpha blockers.

PMID:
17958978
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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