Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 68(6); 2010 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2010;68(6):345-349.
DOI:    Published online June 1, 2010.
Significance of Repeated Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing for Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
Soo Ok Kim, Yoon Hee Kim, Su Young Chi, Hee Jung Ban, In Jae Oh, Yong Soo Kwon, Kyu Sik Kim, Yu Il Kim, Sung Chul Lim, Young Chul Kim
1Department of Internal Medicine, Seonam University Medical School, Namwon, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is important for the confirmatory diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The aim of this study was to analyze the yield of repeated PCR testing in patients with confirmed pulmonary TB. METHODS: The medical records of 130 patients, who had more than two consecutive PCR tests and a M. tuberculosis-positive sputum culture from August, 2006 to December, 2007, were retrospectively reviewed for the purposes of this study. A positive TB-PCR test was defined as at least one positive test result. RESULTS: The cumulative positive PCR test rate was 80% (104/130), with gradually increasing rates of positive findings upon the first, second and third TB-PCR tests with 52.3%, 68.5% and 75.4%, respectively. However, further testing did not increase the positive rate further. CONCLUSION: Repeated PCR testing at least three times for M. tuberculosis is helpful for diagnosis of pulmonary TB.
Key Words: Polymerase Chain Reaction, Tuberculosis, Sputum

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