A study of tubercular lymphadenitis: A comparison of various laboratory diagnostic modalities with a special reference to tubercular polymerase chain reaction

Patwardhan, S. A.; Bhargava, P.; Bhide, V. M.; Kelkar, D. S.
October 2011
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Oct2011, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p389
Academic Journal
Objective: The purpose of our study was to compare various laboratory diagnostic methods, namely histopathological examination, Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) stain, AFB culture by conventional Lowenstein--Jensen (LJ) method and fluorescence-based mycobacterial growth indicator tube (MGIT) technique and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in clinically suspected cases of tubercular lymphadenitis. Materials and Methods: A total of 65 lymph nodes biopsied from patients clinically suspected of having tubercular lymph nodes were included. Specimens were processed for AFB culture after NaOH-NALC concentration and inoculation on LJ medium and using the MGIT system. PCR was performed on all specimens using a commercial nested PCR kit targeting IS6110 insertion element of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. All lymph node specimens were subjected to histopathological examination. Results: Of the 65 lymph nodes, 37 (56.9%) were positive on MGIT culture and 45 (69.2%) were positive by PCR. Histopathology showed maximum sensitivity (96%) but with compromised specificity (78.5%). PCR showed 90.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The mean turnaround time for mycobacterial growth in smear negative specimens was 30 days determined by LJ and 20 days by MGIT techniques. Conclusion: PCR is a rapid and useful method for diagnosis of TB lymphadenitis and definitely increases the positive predictive value of a positive histopathology report. MGIT is better than LJ culture as regards time to positivity and higher yield.


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