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Free Content Urinary neopterin measurement as a non-invasive diagnostic method in pulmonary tuberculosis

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SETTING: Pulmonary department of a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the usefulness of neopterin in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) as a rapid diagnostic tool.

DESIGN: Neopterin concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL), serum and urine were measured in patients with PTB, with lung cancer and with pneumonia and in a healthy control group.

RESULTS: In the BAL of PTB patients, serum and urine levels of neopterin were significantly higher than all the other groups (P < 0.001). Compared with the lung cancer group, PTB patients had higher neopterin in BAL and urine (P < 0.05). The PTB group had higher levels not only in BAL and urine, but also in serum, than the pneumonia group (P < 0.05). Compared with the pneumonia group and the healthy controls, neopterin levels in serum and urine were significantly higher in the lung cancer group (P < 0.05). In the PTB group, patients with moderately advanced PTB according to radiographic extent had higher levels of urine neopterin than patients with minimal disease (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Neopterin levels in BAL, serum and particularly in urine may reflect PTB activity before exact diagnosis of the disease by culture results, and correlates with radiological extent.
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Keywords: lung cancer; neopterin; pneumonia; pulmonary tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Gulhane Askeri Tip Akademisi, Ankara, Turkey 2: Department of Biochemistry, Gulhane Askeri Tip Akademisi, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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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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