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Free Content Indeterminate QuantiFERON® -TB Gold results in a public health clinic setting

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SETTING: Public chest clinics, New York City. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between patient characteristics and indeterminate QuantiFERON ® TB Gold (QFT-G) results and describe follow-up testing.

DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional multivariate logistic regression analyses of patients receiving QFT-G from October 2006 to June 2008. Analyses were performed separately depending on whether the indeterminate result was due to positive (low mitogen) or negative (high nil) control failure.

RESULTS: Of 28 864 individuals tested, 2058 (7%) tested positive, 26 284 (91%) negative, and 522 (2%) were indeterminate (low mitogen, n = 264; high nil, n = 258). Low mitogen results were more frequent among those aged < 10 years (ORadj 3.7, 95%CI 2.4–5.9), females (ORadj 1.4, 95%CI 1.1–1.8), Asians (ORadj 2.1, 95%CI 1.3–3.4) and the US-born (ORadj 1.9, 95%CI 1.4–2.6) and less frequent among Hispanics (ORadj 0.6, 95%CI 0.4–1.0). High nil results were more frequent among Hispanics (ORadj 1.7, 95%CI 1.0–2.8) and less frequent among the US-born (ORadj 0.6, 95%CI 0.5– 0.8). Among patients who received a repeat QFT-G (n = 137), 4% tested positive, 64% negative and 32% had a second indeterminate result, always of the same type.

CONCLUSION: Age, race/ethnicity and sex were associ- ated with indeterminate QFT-G results. Most follow-up tests were negative, although a modest proportion were repeatedly indeterminate. Further studies evaluating the mechanisms of QFT-G indeterminate results are needed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA; New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA 2: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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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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