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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 Sep;13(9):1130-6.

Sensitivity and specificity of fluorescence microscopy for diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis in a high HIV prevalence setting.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA. acattamanchi@medsfgh.ucsf.edu

Abstract

SETTING:

Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the diagnostic performance of fluorescence microscopy (FM) for diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in a high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence setting.

DESIGN:

Consecutive in-patients with cough for >2 weeks submitted two sputum specimens for smear microscopy. Smears were examined by conventional light microscopy (CM) and FM. The performance of the two methods was compared using mycobacterial culture as a reference standard.

RESULTS:

A total of 426 patients (82% HIV-infected) were evaluated. FM identified 11% more smear-positive patients than CM (49% vs. 38%, P < 0.001). However, positive FM results were less likely than positive CM results to be confirmed by culture when smears were read as either 'scanty' (54% vs. 90%, P < 0.001) or 1+ (82% vs. 91%, P = 0.02). Compared to CM, the sensitivity of FM was higher (72% vs. 64%, P = 0.005), and the specificity lower (81% vs. 96%, P < 0.001). In receiver operating characteristic analysis, maximum area under the curve for FM was obtained at a threshold of >4 acid-fast bacilli/100 fields (sensitivity 68%, specificity 90%).

CONCLUSION:

Although FM increases the sensitivity of sputum smear microscopy, additional data on FM specificity and on the clinical consequences associated with false-positive FM results are needed to guide implementation of this technology in high HIV prevalence settings.

Comment in

PMID:
19723403
PMCID:
PMC2754584
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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