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

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Abstract:

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.

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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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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