High-resolution CT for identify patients with smear-positive, active pulmonary tuberculosis.
ABSTRACT This study evaluates the use of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) to differentiate smear-positive, active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) from other pulmonary infections in the emergency room (ER) setting.
One hundred and eighty-three patients diagnosed with pulmonary infections in an ER were divided into an acid fast bacillus (AFB) smear-positive, active PTB group (G1=84) and a non-AFB smear-positive, pulmonary infection group (G2=99). HRCT images from a 64-Multidetector CT were analyzed, retrospectively, for the morphology, number, and segmental distribution of pulmonary lesions.
Utilizing multivariate analysis, five variables were found to be independent risk factors predictive of G1: (1) consolidation involving the apex segment of right upper lobe, posterior segment of the right upper lobe, or apico-posterior segment of the left upper lobe; (2) consolidation involving the superior segment of the right or left lower lobe; (3) presence of a cavitary lesion; (4) presence of clusters of nodules; (5) absence of centrilobular nodules. A G1 prediction score was generated based on these 5 criteria to help differentiate G1 from G2. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.96 ± 0.012 in our prediction model. With an ideal cut-off point score of 3, the specificity, sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) are 90.9%, 96.4%, 90.0% and 96.8%, respectively.
The use of this AFB smear-positive, active PTB prediction model based on 5 key HRCT findings may help ER physicians determine whether or not isolation is required while awaiting serial sputum smear results in high risk patients.