Adapted T Cell Interferon-Gamma Release Assay for the Diagnosis of Pleural Tuberculosis

Ates G., Yildiz T., Ortakoylu M. G. , Ozekinci T., Erturk B., Akyildiz L., ...More

RESPIRATION, vol.82, no.4, pp.351-357, 2011 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 82 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000323184
  • Journal Name: RESPIRATION
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.351-357


Background: Better and more rapid tests are needed for the diagnosis of tuberculous pleural effusion (TPE), given the known limitations of conventional diagnostic tests. Objectives: To estimate diagnostic accuracy of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test (and its components) using data-derived cutoffs in pleural fluid. Methods: The QFT-GIT test was performed on whole blood and pleural fluid from 43 patients with TPE and 29 control subjects (non-TPE). To achieve the objective, QFT-GIT test, estimating likelihood ratios and receiver operating curve analysis were performed. Results: The sensitivity and specificity using the QFT-GIT for the diagnosis of TPE were 48.8% and 79.3%, respectively, in pleural fluid. The best cutoff points for tuberculosis (TB) antigen, nil and TB antigen minus nil results were estimated at 0.70, 0.90 and 0.30 IU/ml, respectively. Area under the curve of TB antigen IFN-gamma response was 0.86 (CI: 0.76-0.93), nil tube was 0.80 (CI: 0.69-0.89) and TB antigen minus nil tube was 0.82 (CI: 0.72-0.90). When the best cutoff scores of the nil tubes were set at this value, the results of a likelihood ratio of a positive and a negative test were 9.44 (7.4-12.0) and 0.37 (0.09-1.5), respectively. The percentages of indeterminate results in pleural fluid among the TPE cases were 42% (most of them caused by high nil IFN-gamma values) using the QFT-GIT test. Conclusion: QFT-GIT test or its components have poor accuracy in the diagnosis of TPE, largely because of a high number of indeterminate results due to high background IFN-gamma production in the TPE. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel