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Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 70(2); 2011 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2011;70(2):125-131.
DOI:    Published online February 1, 2011.
Sensitivity of Whole-Blood Interferon-Gamma Release Assay According to the Severity and the Location of Disease in Patients with Active Tuberculosis.
Yi Young Kim, , Jaehee Lee, , Yoon Jee Lee, , So Yeon Lee, , Yong Hun Lee, , Keum Ju Choi, , Yup Hwangbo, , Seung Ick Cha, , Jae Yong Park, , Tae Hoon Jung, , Jun Sik Park, , Chang Ho Kim,
1Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
The clinical manifestation of M. tuberculosis infection ranges from asymptomatic latent infection, to focal forms with minimal symptoms and low bacterial burdens, and finally to advanced tuberculosis (TB) with severe symptoms and high bacillary loads. We investigated the diagnostic sensitivity of the whole-blood interferon-gamma release assay according to the wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes. METHODS: In patients diagnosed with active TB that underwent QuantiFERON(R) (QFT) testing, the QFT results were compared with patients known to be infected with pulmonary tuberculosis (P-TB) and extra-pulmonary TB (EP-TB). In addition, the results of the QFT test were further analyzed according to the radiographic extent of disease in patients with P-TB and the location of disease in patients with EP-TB. RESULTS: There were no statistical differences in the overall distribution of QFT results between 177 patients with P-TB and 84 patients with EP-TB; the positive results of QFT test in patients with P-TB and EP-TB were 70.1% and 64.3%, respectively. Among patients with P-TB, patients with mild extents of disease showed higher frequency of positive results of QFT test than that of patients with severe form (75.2% vs. 57.1%, respectively; p=0.043) mainly due to an increase of indeterminate results in severe P-TB. Patients with TB pleurisy showed lower sensitivity by the QFT test than those with tuberculous lymphadenitis (48.8% vs. 78.8%, respectively; p=0.019). CONCLUSION: Although QFT test showed similar results between overall patients with P-TB and EP-TB, individual sensitivity was different according to the radiographic extent of disease in P-TB and the location of disease in EP-TB.
Key Words: Interferon-gamma Release Assay, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary

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