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Free Content Added value of bleach sedimentation microscopy for diagnosis of tuberculosis: a cost-effectiveness study

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Abstract:

SETTING: Bleach sedimentation is a method used to increase the diagnostic yield of sputum microscopy for countries with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and limited resources.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the relative cost-effectiveness of different microscopy approaches in diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) in Kenya.

METHODS: An analytical decision tree model including cost and effectiveness measures of 10 combinations of direct (D) and overnight bleach (B) sedimentation microscopy was constructed. Data were drawn from the evaluation of the bleach sedimentation method on two specimens (first on the spot [1] and second morning [2]) from 644 TB suspects in a peripheral health clinic. Incremental cost per smear-positive detected case was measured. Costs included human resources and materials using a micro-costing evaluation.

RESULTS: All bleach-based microscopy approaches detected significantly more cases (between 23.3% for B1 and 25.9% for B1+B2) than the conventional D1+D2 approach (21.0%). Cost per tested case ranged between respectively €2.7 and €4.5 for B1 and B1+D2+B2. B1 and B1+B2 were the most cost-effective approaches. D1+B2 and D1+B1 were good alternatives to avoid using approaches exclusively based on bleach sedimentation microscopy.

CONCLUSIONS: Among several effective microscopy approaches used, including sodium hypochlorite sedimentation, only some resulted in a limited increase in the laboratory workload and would be most suitable for programmatic implementation.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness; diagnosis; microscopy; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Epicentre, Paris, France 2: Mission Nationale d'Expertise et d'Audit Hospitaliers, Paris, France 3: Manson Unit, Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK 4: Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya 5: Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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