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Laeknabladid. 2018 Mai;104(5):231-235. doi: 10.17992/lbl.2018.05.184.

[Screening for tuberculosis before TNFα treatment in routine rheumatic care in Iceland. Result from the nationwide ICEBIO registry].

[Article in Icelandic]

Author information

1
Department of rheumatology, University Hospital, Iceland.
2
Centre for Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, Iceland.
3
Centre for Rheumatology Research, University Hospital, Iceland, The Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Treatment with TNFα inhibitors (TNFαi) greatly increases the risk of reactivation of tuberculosis in rheumatic patients. Therefore, it is recommended to screen patients for tuberculosis before initiating TNFαi treatment. Iceland has a low prevalence of tuberculosis and BCG vaccination is not routine praxis. The purpose of this study was to review the results from TB-screening in routine praxis and to analyze whether changes in the screening process are to be recommended.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

All patients with RA, PsA and AS who were registered in ICEBIO (1999-2014) due to TNFαi treatment were included. Data collection consisted of age, sex, start date of TNFαi treatment and results from a tuberculin skin test (TST) and chest x-ray. The data were then crosschecked with the Berkill registry, a nationwide database for TB.

RESULTS:

756 individuals (58% female, mean-age of 54 years) were included. TST was negative in 614 cases (81%), 41 positive (5.4%), 9 false positives (1.2%) and 92 were missing (12%). 119 patients were registered in Berkill whereof 72 had a history of positive TST and 55 had been vaccinated, while 14 patients had been diagnosed with tuberculo-sis (where of 7 had negative TST on screening). Three patients were diagnosed with tuberculosis after the TNFi treatment.

CONCLUSION:

These results illustrate the importance of tuberculosis screening before initiating TNFαi treatment. Improvement in registration of TST results is necessary and whether interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) should be added to the screening process remains to be discussed.

KEYWORDS:

ICEBIO; TNFα inhibitors; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; tuberculosis

PMID:
29717989
DOI:
10.17992/lbl.2018.05.184

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