Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

False positives in TB diagnosis lead to real negatives for HIV patients, study finds

Date:
May 16, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
HIV-infected patients who are falsely diagnosed as having tuberculosis (TB) have higher rates of mortality than those who are correctly diagnosed with the disease, according to a new study.

HIV-infected patients who are falsely diagnosed as having tuberculosis (TB) have higher rates of mortality than those who are correctly diagnosed with the disease, according to a study conducted by researchers at University of California-San Francisco and Makerere University-Kampala.

Related Articles


"Among HIV-infected persons with suspected TB, falsely diagnosing persons with TB by rapid testing was associated with increased mortality when compared with the group of patients who received the correct diagnosis," said study lead author Robert Blount, M.D., clinical fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UCSF's School of Medicine.

The results of the study were presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans, with co-authors Laurence Huang, Lucian Davis, Adithya Cattamanchi, Saskia den Boon, William Worodria and Moses Joloba also in attendance

"Tuberculosis remains a common cause of pulmonary disease worldwide," Dr. Blount said. "HIV-infected patients are particularly susceptible to TB. Diagnosis can be a challenge, because the standard test-- sputum culture -- p although sensitive and specific, often takes several weeks to yield results."

Physicians and researchers have long understood that missing a positive diagnosis of tuberculosis in patients who actually have the disease can result in poor outcomes and an increase in mortality rates. But the link between mortality and false positives -- diagnosing someone with tuberculosis who does not have the disease -- has been less widely understood.

In this study, Dr. Blount and his colleagues evaluated the outcomes of 600 HIV-infected patients who were treated at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, including patients who were incorrectly diagnosed with tuberculosis following rapid testing.

"Studies tend to emphasize the negative impact of missing the diagnosis of TB," Dr. Blount noted. "Our study shows that falsely diagnosing patients with TB who do not actually have TB is also associated with negative outcomes."

Dr. Blount said the poorer outcomes are likely due to the fact that patients who are misdiagnosed are treated erroneously for tuberculosis while the actual underlying condition remains untreated. Because physicians believe tuberculosis is the culprit, any search for the real underlying disease is delayed, as is proper treatment, he said.

Dr. Blount said the study's results serve to caution physicians to continue monitoring patients who have been diagnosed with tuberculosis to ensure the treatment is working, and to reassess the diagnosis if patients are not improving.

"These results remind us as clinicians that diagnostic tests are not 100 percent accurate, and that falsely diagnosing patients with a disease who do not actually have that disease can lead to negative outcomes," he said. "We must continue to re-evaluate a patient's clinical progress. If he or she is not responding as predicted to treatment for a diagnosed disease, we must entertain alternative diagnoses."

Dr. Blount also noted the results indicate a need for further refinement of rapid diagnostic tests for tuberculosis.

"These rapid tests, however, are not always as sensitive or specific for determining if a person has TB," he said. "Further research should be focused on the development of more sensitive and specific TB diagnostic tests and the clinical impact of these new tests. Ideally, these tests should be affordable enough to be used in low-income countries, where the burden of tuberculosis is high."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "False positives in TB diagnosis lead to real negatives for HIV patients, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100516195647.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, May 16). False positives in TB diagnosis lead to real negatives for HIV patients, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100516195647.htm
American Thoracic Society. "False positives in TB diagnosis lead to real negatives for HIV patients, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100516195647.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins