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S. Itty, S. J. Bakri, J. S. Pulido, D. C. Herman, L. J. Faia, G. T. Tufty, S. R. Bennet, N. S. Falk; Initial Results of QuantiFERON-TB Gold Testing in Patients With Uveitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3890.
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Tuberculosis infection is important to detect in patients with ophthalmologic disease because it is a treatable form of uveitis. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G) test is a blood test which uses enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect interferon gamma released by T-cells with prior exposure to M. tuberculosis. It appears to be more sensitive for the detection of tuberculosis even in the presence of prior Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination. We describe the use in a series of patients in an ophthalmic practice.
The charts of all patients who had QFT-G tests ordered by Mayo Clinic ophthalmologists in the past three years were reviewed.
Twenty seven QFT-G tests were ordered. Fourteen (52%) tests were negative, six (22%) were indeterminate, and two (7%) tests were re-ordered after a lab accident or an improper cancellation, and five (19%) were positive. Of the six positive cases, three were treated for tuberculosis: one had tubeculous iritis, one had retinal vasculitis and haemorrhage and one had asymptomatic tuberculosis but was on immunosuppressive therapy.
In a series of selected patients with uveitis, the QFT-G test was able to detect tuberculosis infection in 22% of the patients. QFT-G should be considered instead of PPD testing in cases of uveitis or at least in those with uveitis that have had prior BCG vaccination.
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