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Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2014 Apr 7;6(1):e2014026. doi: 10.4084/MJHID.2014.026. eCollection 2014.

Tuberculosis in patients with haematological malignancies.

Author information

1
Unidad de tuberculosis. Servicio de Medicina Interna. Complexo Hospitalario de Pontevedra, 36001-Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain ; Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Vigo (IBIV). Vigo, Spain.
2
Unidad de tuberculosis. Servicio de Medicina Interna. Complexo Hospitalario de Pontevedra, 36001-Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain.

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that causes more than 1 million deaths worldwide every year. In addition, it is estimated that one third of the world population is infected with M. tuberculosis in a latent state, which involves an eventual risk of progressing to active TB disease. Patients with immunodeficiencies, such as those suffering from haematological malignancies, have a greater risk of progressing to TB disease once infected. It is estimated that the Relative Risk of TB disease in patients with hematologic malignancies is 2-40 times that of the general population. The diagnosis of TB in these patients is often challenging as they often present clinical characteristics that are distinct to those of patients without any other underlying disease. Mortality due to TB is higher. Therefore, it is recommended to diagnose latent TB infection and consider preventive therapy that could avoid the progression from a latent state to active TB disease. There are currently two methods for diagnosing latent TB infection: the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and the Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA). Due to the lack of sensitivity in patients with immunodeficient conditions, a combined TST-IGRA testing is probably the best way for latent TB diagnosis in order to gain sensitivity. Treatment of latent TB infection and TB disease should follow the general principles to that in the general population.

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