Tuberculin reaction is not attenuated in patients with rheumatoid arthritis living in a region with intermediate burden of tuberculosis

Kwang Hoon Lee, Sang Youn Jung, You Jung Ha, Soo Kon Lee, Yong Beom Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculin reactions in patients with immunocompromised conditions have been reported to be attenuated compared with healthy controls. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), several studies have reported conflicting results. We performed this study to evaluate the tuberculin reaction in patients with RA in a region with intermediate burden of tuberculosis. Eighty-one RA patients and 104 age-and sex-matched controls who underwent tuberculin skin test (TST) at Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea were reviewed. TST was carried out using the Mantoux method. Indurations larger than 10 mm were considered positive. Information about risk factors for latent tuberculosis infection was acquired. The mean age of the patients with RA was 48 ± 14 years, and the median disease duration was 9 (1-203) months. The mean DAS28 was 5.22 ± 0.13. The control group consisted of healthy living donors for liver transplantation and the patients with diseases not related with immunosuppression. BCG vaccination, close contact history with active tuberculosis, and history of pulmonary tuberculosis were not different between the two groups. The positive rate of TST (34.6% vs. 38.5%) and the median skin induration size (5 mm vs. 6 mm) of the two groups were similar. Medications and DAS28 were not associated with the TST result. The tuberculin reaction of patients with RA is not attenuated compared with that of controls in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1424
Number of pages4
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Hunil Oh, RN of Severance Hospital for her help in performing this study. This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare technology R & D project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A102065).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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