Clinical impact of nucleic acid amplification testing in the diagnosis of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis: a 10-year longitudinal study

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Open Forum Infect Dis


BACKGROUND: Nucleic acid amplification (NAA) testing for

METHODS: We identified a retrospective cohort of all patients with AFB smear-positive respiratory specimens at Henry Ford Hospital from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2011. We examined the association between patients' sociodemographic factors and clinical comorbidities with the likelihood of being diagnosed with MTB. We evaluated the projected change in duration of airborne isolation and unnecessary MTB treatment with introducing NAA testing into clinical decision making for AFB smear-positive patients.

RESULTS: One hundred thirty patients had AFB smear-positive respiratory specimens, 80 of these patients had a positive NAA test result, and 82 patients grew MTB on culture. Nucleic acid amplification testing had a sensitivity and specificity of 97.6% and 100%, respectively. Integrating NAA testing into clinical decision making for patients with AFB-positive smears was associated with a significantly shorter time in airborne isolation (6.0 ± 7.6 vs 23.1 ± 38.0, P < .001) and 9.5 ± 11.32 fewer days of unnecessary MTB treatment in patients with negative NAA test.

CONCLUSIONS: Nucleic acid amplification testing provided a rapid and accurate test in the diagnosis of MTB while significantly reducing the duration of isolation and unnecessary medications in patients with negative NAA test.

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