Novel tests for diagnosing tuberculous pleural effusion: What works and what does not?

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Abstract

Tuberculous pleuritis is a common manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis and is the most common cause of pleural effusion in many countries. Conventional diagnostic tests, such as microscopic examination of the pleural fluid, biochemical tests, culture of pleural fluid, sputum or pleural tissue, and histopathological examination of pleural tissue, have known limitations. Due to these limitations, newer and more rapid diagnostic tests have been evaluated. In this review, the authors provide an overview of the performance of new diagnostic tests, including markers of specific and nonspecific immune response, nucleic acid amplification and detection, and predictive models based on combinations of markers. Directions for future development and evaluation of novel assays and biomarkers for pleural tuberculosis are also suggested.

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Trajman, A., Pai, M., Dheda, K., Van Zyl Smit, R., Zwerling, A. A., Joshi, R., … Menzies, D. (2008, May). Novel tests for diagnosing tuberculous pleural effusion: What works and what does not? European Respiratory Journal. https://doi.org/10.1183/09031936.00147507

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