Updated guidelines for the use of nucleic acid amplification tests in the diagnosis of tuberculosis
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Updated guidelines for the use of nucleic acid amplification tests in the diagnosis of tuberculosis

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      CDC has reported previously surveillance data of severe liver injury in patients treated for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) with a daily and twice-weekly 2-month regimen of rifampin with pyrazinamide (RZ). On the basis of these initial reports, CDC cautioned clinicians in the use of this therapy with advised additional monitoring. To estimate the incidence of RZ-associated severe liver injury and provide more precise data to guide treatment for LTBI, CDC collected data from cohorts of patients in the United States who received RZ for the treatment of LTBI during January 2000-June 2002 and for whom data were reported to CDC through June 6, 2003. This report summarizes the analysis, which found high rates of hospitalization and death from liver injury associated with the use of RZ. On the basis of these findings, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and CDC now recommend that this regimen should generally not be offered to persons with LTBI. The revised ATS/CDC recommendations described in this report have been endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Clinicians are advised to use the recommended alternative regimens for the treatment of LTBI. Rifampin and pyrazinamide (PZA) should continue to be administered in multidrug regimens for the treatment of persons with active tuberculosis (TB) disease.

      Guidelines for the use of nucleic acid amplification (NAA) tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) were published in 1996 and updated in 2000. Since then, NAA testing has become a routine procedure in many settings because NAA tests can reliably detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria in specimens 1 or more weeks earlier than culture. Earlier laboratory confirmation of TB can lead to earlier treatment initiation, improved patient outcomes, increased opportunities to interrupt transmission, and more effective public health interventions. Because of the increasing use of NAA tests and the potential impact on patient care and public health, in June 2008, CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) convened a panel of clinicians, laboratorians, and TB control officials to assess existing guidelines and make recommendations for using NAA tests for laboratory confirmation of TB. On the basis of the panel's report and consultations with the Advisory Council for the Elimination of TB (ACET),* CDC recommends that NAA testing be performed on at least one respiratory specimen from each patient with signs and symptoms of pulmonary TB for whom a diagnosis of TB is being considered but has not yet been established, and for whom the test result would alter case management or TB control activities, such as contact investigations. These guidelines update the previously published guidelines.

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