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Free Content Tuberculin test variability: using the Norwegian Adrenaline-Pirquet method

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SETTING: Chest Unit, Bergen, Norway.

OBJECTIVES: To study the agreement between two Adrenaline-Pirquet tuberculin tests and compare reactivity in groups read after 2, 3 and 4 days.

DESIGN: Responders from a random sample of 1200 men and women 20 –44 years of age in 1991 were tested with dual Adrenaline-Pirquet skin scratch tests with Norwegian-produced synthetic medium tuberculin and read after 2–7 days.

RESULTS: Of 588 subjects dually tuberculin tested, complete agreement existed in 220 (37.4%). A difference of 1 mm one way or the other was observed in 239 (40.6%), whereas a difference of less than 3 mm was found in 567 (96.5%). Using the larger of the two reactions increased the rate of tuberculin positivity (≥4 mm) by up to 8.4% compared with reading only one of the tests. No statistically significant differences were observed between subjects whose reactions were read after 2, 3 and 4 days.

CONCLUSION: Under the non-blinded conditions of this study the dual Adrenaline-Pirquet tuberculin tests demonstrated reproducibility equivalent to the internationally recommended Mantoux test, and appeared to be independent of time of reading within four days.
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Keywords: agreement; test; tuberculin; variability

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Thoracic Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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