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Utility of routine chest radiography in ocular tuberculosis and sarcoidosis

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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) and sarcoidosis commonly present with pulmonary and ocular involvement. Routine chest radiography (CXR) is recommended in the workup for suspected intraocular TB (IOTB) or intraocular sarcoidosis (IOS); however, data on the utility of CXR in this setting are lacking.

METHODS: A post-hoc analysis was performed of a prospectively collected data set comprising 104 patients with uveitis of unknown cause. A pulmonologist and thoracic radiologist, blinded to the final diagnosis, independently reported these CXRs as being in keeping with TB or sarcoidosis.

RESULTS: CXRs were reported as normal/indeterminate (n = 88), probable/previous TB (n = 9) or possible/probable sarcoidosis (n = 8), with a 96% inter-observer concordance. CXRs were more often abnormal in IOS than in IOTB (5/8 vs. 5/34, P = 0.01). CXR had a sensitivity of 14.7%, specificity of 94.3%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 55.6% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 69.5% for IOTB, compared with a sensitivity of 62.5%, specificity of 96.9%, PPV of 62.5% and NPV of 96.9% for IOS. Overall diagnostic accuracy was 54.5% (58.1% in human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] positive participants) in the case of IOTB and 79.9% for IOS.

CONCLUSION: CXR had high specificity and NPV for IOS, and poor overall diagnostic accuracy for IOTB, including in the HIV-positive population.

Keywords: CXR; TB; sarcoidosis; uveitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine 2: Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgical Sciences 3: Division of Radiodiagnosis, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

    The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.

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