Comparison of PCR with standard culture of fine needle aspiration samples in the diagnosis of tuberculosis lymphadenitis
Keywords: tuberculosis, lymphadenitis, FNA, PCR
AbstractIntroduction: Lymphadenopathy is the commonest form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) Clinical diagnosis of TB in lymph nodes requires aspiration of the material and isolation of mycobacteria. Bacterial culture is the gold standard for detection of tubercle bacilli, but it is time-consuming and requires specialized safety procedures and a BSL3 laboratory. However, PCR is a rapid method which requires small volumes of samples and can also be performed on killed bacilli to ensure safety. This project was designed to compare direct fine needle aspirate (FNA) PCR with culture in the diagnosis of tuberculosis lymphadenitis.
Methodology: Direct examination of samples with EZN staining, culture, cytology and PCR was performed on previously collected FNA from the patients with suspected tuberculosis lymphadenitis
Results: In total, 38% of the samples were positive for TB by culture, 11.8% by EZN staining, 23.4% by PCR, and 59.8% by cytology. Cytology had the highest sensitivity (81%) and EZN stain the least (22.9%). The specificity of EZN stain was the highest (92.4%) while cytology was the lowest (50%). In this study, out of 50 culture-positive samples, 21 (42%) were positive by PCR while 8 (10.8%) out of 74 culture-negative samples were positive by PCR.
Conclusions: Although PCR is a sensitive diagnostic method, its sensitivity was shown to be low in this study. Therefore, we recommend that further studies should be conducted on fresh aspirate samples to investigate for possible PCR inhibitors which may limit the sensitivity of PCR diagnosis.
How to Cite
Derese Y, Hailu E, Assefa T, Bekele Y, Mihret A, Aseffa A, Hussien J, Ali I, Abebe M (2011) Comparison of PCR with standard culture of fine needle aspiration samples in the diagnosis of tuberculosis lymphadenitis. J Infect Dev Ctries 6:53-57. doi: 10.3855/jidc.2050
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