16 January 2019
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health concern on a global scale, especially in developing nations. So far, no formal guidelines are available for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis pleurisy. The diagnosis of TB is worsened by the immense difficulty in differential determination of tuberculosis pleural effusion (TPE) and malignant pleural effusion (MPE). The purpose of this investigation is to assess the differential diagnostic efficiencies of the pleural IFN-γ release assay (IGRA) and widely-used biochemical parameters in the distinction analysis of TPE and MPE.
A cohort of 222 patients with pleural effusion was examined, comprising of 143 TPE and 58 MPE patients. The patients were examined with IGRA, and the widely-used biomarkers in the pleural effusion and peripheral blood.
Our results show that the TPE patients have significantly higher M. tuberculosis (Mtb) antigen-specific IFN-γ responses to ESAT-6 protein and peptide pool in the blood compared to MPE patients. TPE patients were also shown to have enriched Mtb antigen-specific IFN-γ responses in pleural effusion than in peripheral blood. Among the widely-used biomarkers, the adenosine deaminase (ADA) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in pleural effusion were better biomarkers with high sensitivity and specificity to discriminate TPE and MPE. In addition, pleural IGRA could not be affected by the pleural adhesion, and the applications of the pleural IGRA together with ADA and CEA provide a promising approach for the TPE and MPE differential identification.