Performance of whole-blood interferon-gamma release assay in patients admitted to the emergency department with pulmonary infiltrates
- Equal contributors
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea
2 Clinical Pathology, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea
BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:107 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-107Published: 24 April 2011
This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of a whole-blood interferon-gamma release assay in inpatients who were admitted to the emergency department (ED) with pulmonary infiltrates who required a differential diagnosis with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).
The patients with pulmonary infiltrates who received a QuantiFERON (QFT) test in the ED were included as an inpatient group and were divided into TB and non-TB group based on the final diagnosis. Patients with pulmonary TB who were tested in the outpatient department served as a control group.
In total, 377 QFT tests were analyzed. Of the 284 inpatient QFT tests, 29.6% had an indeterminate result (35.2% in the 196 patients with non-TB and 17.0% in the 88 patients with TB). In contrast, only 1.1% of the 93 outpatients with TB returned an indeterminate result (p < 0.001). The indeterminate QFT results in the inpatient group were independently associated with lymphocytopenia, hypoalbuminemia, and high C-reactive protein levels. Non-positive QFT results in inpatients with TB were associated with lymphocytopenia and hypoalbuminemia, while non-positive QFT results in outpatients with TB were associated with high erythrocyte sedimentation rates and radiographically more severe diseases.
QFT tests in ED-based inpatients with pulmonary infiltrate return indeterminate results relatively frequently. In addition, inpatients and outpatients with pulmonary TB may differ in terms of the risk factors on non-positive QFT results.