Active tuberculosis risk with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors after treating latent tuberculosis

Minkyung Kwon, Mindong Sung, Yong Jin Kwon, Young Goo Song, Sang Won Lee, Min Chan Park, Yong Beom Park, Soo Kon Lee, Jason Jungsik Song

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Active tuberculosis (TB) risk increases during anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy; therefore, latent TB infection (LTBI) screening is recommended in potential TNF inhibitor users. It is unclear whether anti-TNF therapy increases the risk of active TB infection even after standard LTBI treatment. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the risk of active TB development in LTBI-positive versus LBTI-negative TNF inhibitor users following the current national LTBI treatment guidelines for LTBI. METHODS: We retrospectively studied 949 TNF inhibitor users with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases from 2005 to 2012 at the Yonsei University Health System. We compared the incidence of active TB among LTBI-positive TNF inhibitor users treated according to national guidelines (n = 256) and LTBI-negative TNF inhibitor users (n = 521), using Poisson regression. RESULTS: The active TB incidence was 1107 per 100,000 patient-years in LTBI-positive TNF inhibitor users who received standard LTBI treatment and 490 per 100,000 patient-years in LTBI-negative TNF inhibitor users. Analysis showed that despite this numerical trend active TB risk was not statistically significantly elevated in LTBI-positive versus LTBI-negative TNF inhibitor users (incidence risk ratio, 2.15; P = 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-7.7). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated no statistically significantly increased risk of active TB in LTBI-positive TNF inhibitor users who received standard LTBI treatment compared with LTBI-negative TNF inhibitor users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology

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