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Free Content Comparative utility of interferon-γ release assay, QuantiFERON® TB-GIT and T-SPOT®.TB in rheumatoid arthritis

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SETTING: National hospital for tuberculosis (TB) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Japan.

OBJECTIVE: To compare two interferon-γ release assays (IGRAs), QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT) and T-SPOT®.TB (T-SPOT), in RA patients for detecting latent tuberculous infection (LTBI).

DESIGN: QFT and T-SPOT were conducted concurrently in 230 prospectively enrolled RA patients.

RESULTS: There were no active TB patients. The percentage of QFT- and T-SPOT-positive patients was respectively 8.3% and 5.7%. In patients aged 60 years, these proportions were respectively 12.3% and 7.2%. The percentage of QFT positivity and T-SPOT positivity at age <60 years was respectively 2.2% and 3.3%. After multivariate logistic analysis for QFT positivity, age 60 years and TB suspected based on chest X-ray were selected as independent factors, with adjusted odds ratios of respectively 4.73 and 3.25. No factors were selected for T-SPOT positivity.

CONCLUSION: QFT had a higher positivity rate. In the light of the previous estimated rate of LTBI in Japan, both IGRAs underestimate LTBI, and neither IGRA has enough capability to detect LTBI.
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Keywords: IGRA; TNF-α blocker; immunosuppressive condition; latent tuberculous infection; rheumatoid arthritis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center of Rheumatology, Allergy & Clinical Immunology, National Hospital Organization Chiba-East Hospital, Chiba, Japan 2: Department of Respiratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization Chiba-East Hospital, Chiba, Division of Infection Control, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan 3: Department of Respiratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization Chiba-East Hospital, Chiba, Japan 4: Chiba Foundation for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Chiba, Japan

Publication date: 2016-11-01

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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.

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

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