What are the Tuberculosis diagnosis & Tuberculosis risk factors?

Tuberculosis Diagnosis:

  • Depending on the type of TB suspected, a variety of tests are used to make the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).
  • If a medical professional suspects you have TB, they may recommend testing and treatment from a TB expert.
  • To read complete detail about Tuberculosis click here

Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis:

  • It can be challenging to diagnose pulmonary TB, or TB that affects the lungs, and numerous tests are frequently required.
  • A chest X-ray may be performed on you to check for TB-related changes in the appearance of your lungs. Phlegm samples are frequently taken and examined for the presence of TB germs.
  • These tests are crucial in determining the best course of treatment for you.
  • To read more about Pulmonary Tuberculosis Click Here

Diagnosis of Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis:

To confirm suspected extrapulmonary TB, or TB outside the lungs, many tests can be done.

These tests consist of:

  • A CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound of the body portion in question.
  • An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at one end that is used to examine the inside of your body. It can be inserted through a natural opening, like your mouth, or through a small cut made in your skin (laparoscopy), if other parts of your body need to be examined.
  •  Urine and blood tests are also common.
  • A biopsy, in which TB bacteria are detected in a small sample of tissue or fluid obtained from the afflicted area.
  • A lumbar puncture, which involves taking a little sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the base of your spine, may also be performed on you. The CSF is the fluid that envelops the brain.
  • To determine if TB has affected your brain and spinal cord, the sample can be examined (central nervous system).
  • To read more about Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis click here

Diagnosis of  Latent Tuberculosis:

  • In some cases, you might need to get tested for latent TB, which is an infection with the TB bacteria but does not cause symptoms.
  • For instance, if you have recently been to a place with a high TB prevalence or if you have lately been in close contact with someone who is known to have active TB disease affecting the lungs, you may need to get tested.
  • You should receive information and guidance regarding the necessity of testing if you have recently relocated to the UK from a country where TB is widespread. When you sign up as a patient, your doctor may advise a test.
  • To read more about Latent Tuberculosis Infection click here

Tuberculosis Test-Mantoux test:

  • A common test for latent TB is the Mantoux test. It entails injecting PPD tuberculin into the skin of your forearm in a very little quantity. Additionally known as the tuberculin skin test (TST).
  • Your skin will be sensitive to PPD tuberculin if you have a latent TB infection, and usually 48 to 72 hours after the test, a little, firm red bump will appear at the injection site.
  • To determine whether you have active TB disease, you might need a chest X-ray if you get a very strong skin reaction.
  • The Mantoux test won’t cause your skin to react if you don’t have a latent infection. But because TB might take a while to manifest, you might need to undergo another screening in the future.
  • The Mantoux test may cause a slight skin reaction if you’ve taken the BCG vaccine. This does not imply that you have latent TB in all cases.


Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA):

  • An increasingly used blood test for TB is the interferon gamma release assay (IGRA).
  • Latent TB may be identified with the aid of the IGRA:
  1. If your Mantoux test results are positive.
  2. If you’ve previously had the BCG vaccine; in these circumstances, the Mantoux test might not be accurate.
  3. If you recently immigrated to the UK from a country where TB is prevalent, as part of your TB screening
  4. When you register with a doctor, as a part of  health check it is included in the registration process.
  5. Prior to receiving a medical procedure that will reduce your immune system
  6. If you work in the medical field.

Tuberculosis Risk Factors?

  • Anyone can contract TB, although the following groups are most at risk:
  • Those who reside in, originate from, or have travelled through a region where TB rates are high. In the UK, almost 3 out of every 4 TB cases include individuals who were not born in the country.
  • being in close proximity to an infected person over an extended period of time or living in close quarters.
  • Having a disease like diabetes that compromises immunity; receiving immunosuppressive therapies like chemotherapy or biological agents;
  • in poor health or with a poor diet due to lifestyle and other issues, such as drug or alcohol abuse or homelessness. People with these conditions tend to have immune systems that are weaker than those of healthy adults.
  • who are really young or extremely old – People who are young or old typically have poorer immune systems than healthy individuals.
  • Some patients become ill with TB disease shortly after contracting the infection (within a few weeks), before their immune system has a chance to stop the TB germs. other people may contract a disease years after, when their immune systems deteriorate for another cause,.
  • In general, 5 to 10% of infected individuals who do not receive treatment for latent TB infection will eventually acquire TB disease.
  • The chance of contracting TB disease is significantly higher in people with weakened immune systems than in healthy individuals, particularly in those who are HIV-infected.

People who are at a high risk of contracting TB disease typically fall into  two categories:

  1. Those who have recently been exposed to the TB bacteria.
  2. Those with compromised system due to underlying some medical conditions.

Those who have recently been exposed to the TB bacteria This includes:

  • Close associates of a person suffering from an infectious TB disease
  • Those who migrated from countries where tuberculosis rates were high
  • Children under the age of five who test positive for tuberculosis
  • Populations having a high prevalence of TB transmission, such as injectable drug users, homeless people, and HIV-positive people
  • Individuals who work or live among persons who are at high risk for TB in hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons, nursing homes, or HIV residential homes, among other facilities or institutions.

Those with compromised system due to underlying some medical conditions:

Young children and infants frequently have weakened immune systems. Other persons, particularly those with any of the following disorders, can also have weakened immune systems:

  • HIV infection (the AIDS-causing virus)
  • Use of drugs
  • Silicosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Being under weight
  • Organ transplants
  • Cancer of Head and neck
  • Medical procedures like corticosteroid injections or organ transplants
  • Specific therapies for Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • To read extra detail of tuberculosis click here

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