Volume 69, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Providing prompt and precise laboratory confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis is difficult given the paucibacillary nature of lymph node specimens. In this study carried out in Karachi, Pakistan, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay aimed at detecting DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC-PCR) was standardized and compared with standard diagnostic techniques or a lymph node PCR (LN-PCR) for the diagnosis of tuberculosis lymphadenitis. Thirty-seven (77%) specimens from 48 patients with clinical or diagnosis of tuberculosis lymphadenitis were positive by cytology [17/48 (35%) with no acid fast bacilli (AFB) (suggestive), and 20/48 (42%) with AFB (positive) in direct smears], 30 (63%) by PBMC-PCR, 16 (33%) by LN-PCR, and 13 (27%) by culture. All controls were negative, with the exception of one false-positive LN-PCR. These data suggest the PBMC-PCR may be helpful in the diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis.


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  • Received : 16 Apr 2003
  • Accepted : 14 Jul 2003

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