Screening for tuberculosis in adults with advanced HIV infection prior to preventive therapy

Mohammed A. ; Ehrlich R. ; Wood R. ; Cilliers F. ; Maartens G. (2004)


It is important to exclude tuberculosis prior to preventive therapy, but this can be difficult in patients with symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. Patients with clinically advanced HIV disease were screened for active tuberculosis using a symptom questionnaire, measured weight loss, chest radiography, sputum microscopy and culture prior to receiving tuberculosis preventive therapy. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 11 of 129 patients screened. A simple screening instrument of two or more of the symptoms measured weight loss, cough, night sweats or fever, had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 88.1%, and positive and negative predictive values of 44% and 100%, respectively.

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