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Free Content Diagnosis of tuberculous pleuritis by the measurement of soluble interleukin 2 receptor in pleural fluid

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OBJECTIVE: As soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) is a marker of T-lymphocyte activation, we sought to determine whether its measurement in pleural fluid is diagnostically useful in tuberculous pleurisy.

DESIGN: We compared the concentrations of sIL-2R in pleural samples of 23 patients with tuberculous pleurisy and 109 patients with non-tuberculous effusions (34 malignant, 34 parapneumonic, 27 transudates and 14 miscellaneous). sIL-2R was measured by a commercial ELISA test and its performance was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

RESULTS: The mean values of pleural sIL-2R were 9179 U/mL in patients with tuberculous pleurisy vs 3664 U/mL in patients with malignancy, 2603 U/mL in patients with parapneumonic effusions, 1016 U/mL in patients with transudates, and 1906 U/mL in patients with miscellaneous diseases (P < 0.0001). A ROC curve identified the best cut-off at 4700 U/mL, yielding measures for sensitivity (0.91), specificity (0.94) and accuracy (0.94).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study suggest that pleural sIL-2R appears to be clinically useful for differentiating between tuberculous and non-tuberculous pleural effusions.
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Keywords: cytokines; malignancy; pleural effusion; sIL-2R; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain 2: Department of Clinical Laboratory, University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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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 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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