Predictors for False-Negative Interferon-Gamma Release Assay Results in Hemodialysis Patients with Latent Tuberculosis Infection

Heechul Park, Yun Jeong Kang, Ye Na Kim, Sung Bae Park, Jaewon Lim, Ji Young Park, Young Ae Kang, Hyejon Lee, Jungho Kim, Sunghyun Kim

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The present study aimed to clinically evaluate the effect of T-cell dysfunction in hemodialysis (HD) patients with latent tuberculosis (TB) infection (LTBI) who were false-negatives in the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test. Whole blood samples from a total of 20 active TB patients, 83 HD patients, and 52 healthy individuals were collected, and the QFT-GIT test was used for measuring Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ) level. The positive rate of the IFN-γ release assays (IGRAs) in HD patients was lower than the negative rate. The mean value of MTB-specific IFN-γ level, which determines the positive rate of the IGRA test, was highest in active TB, followed by HD patients and healthy individuals. Among HD patients, phytohemagglutinin A (PHA)-stimulated IFN-γ levels of approximately 40% were 10.00 IU/mL or less. However, there was no low level of PHA-stimulated IFN-γ in the healthy individuals. This reveals that T-cell function in HD patients was reduced compared to healthy individuals, which leads to the possibility that QFT-GIT results in HD patients are false-negative. The clinical manifestations of TB in patients on HD are quite non-specific, making timely diagnosis difficult and delaying the initiation of curative treatment, delay being a major determinant of outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (2020R1C1C1007169), and by the Catholic University of Pusan 2021 and Brain Busan 21 Plus project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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