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Free Content Xpert® MTB/RIF in pleural fluid for the diagnosis of tuberculosis [Short communication]

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An automated nucleic acid amplification assay that simultaneously identifies Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance, the Xpert® MTB/RIF test, has undergone extensive evaluation in sputum samples. Our aim was to define its diagnostic accuracy when performed on pleural fluid specimens. In 67 patients with pleural effusions, of whom half had tuberculous pleuritis, Xpert yielded 15% sensitivity and 100% specificity in the detection of tuberculosis (TB). Positive Xpert results tended to be more common in patients with microbiologically confirmed TB. Due to its low sensitivity, Xpert testing of pleural fluids has a limited role in the work-up of pleural effusions.
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Keywords: Xpert MTB/RIF; pleural effusion; pleural tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pleural Diseases Unit, Departments of Internal Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital, Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida, Lleida, Spain 2: Departments of Respiratory Diseases and Central Laboratory, University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Spain

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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 lung health world-wide.

    To share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles from the IJTLD and publishing them on The Union website, prior to their publication in the Journal. Read fast-track articles.

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

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