Clinical research
Identification of latent tuberculosis infection in rheumatic patients under consideration for treatment with anti-TNF-α agents
 
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Submission date: 2011-01-10
Final revision date: 2011-02-28
Acceptance date: 2011-06-09
Online publication date: 2013-02-21
Publication date: 2013-02-28
 
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(1):112–117
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction: Immunosuppressive therapy with anti-tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) agents in rheumatic patients modulates the immune system and may increase the risk of reactivating infections that are normally maintained in a latent state, such as tuberculosis. The purpose of this study was to analyse the value of QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube (QFT IT) and tuberculin skin test (TST) in BCG vaccinated patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis who were qualified to receive TNF-α blockers.
Material and methods: Ninety patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis were included in the study. The control group consisted of 20 healthy participants. Chest X-ray, TST and QFT IT were carried out in all persons.
Results: In rheumatic patients positive results of QFT IT and TST tests were identified in 15 cases (16.7%) whereas negative results of both tests were detected in 56 cases (62.2%). In the group of examined patients, 11 (12.2%) had QFT IT-/TST+ test results. In patients with QFT IT+/TST– status one active tuberculosis case was detected. In the control group QFT IT positive results were found in 4 cases (20%) and TST positive in 11 cases (55%). Treatment with TNF-α blockers was introduced in 26 rheumatology patients with the following test status: 3 with QFT IT+/TST+; 20 with QFT IT-/TST-; 3 with QFT IT-/TST+.
Conclusions: In the BCG vaccinated population the QFT IT assay may potentially improve the identification and selection for therapy for latent TB infection before treatment with anti-TNF agents.
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ISSN:1734-1922