Pediatr Infect Vaccine.  2016 Apr;23(1):18-24. 10.14776/piv.2016.23.1.18.

Discordance between Tuberculin Skin Test and Interferon-gamma Release Assays for Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Infection in Korean Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


There is a the great diagnostic challenge in pediatric tuberculosis especially in high burden setting. The purpose of this preliminary study is to evaluate the agreement between tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) including T-SPOT®-TB and QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT-G) in Korean children. METHOD: This retrospective study included children and adolescents who visited to Asan Medical Center to evaluate tuberculosis infection using at least two assays of TST, T-SPOT.TB and QFT-G, from January 2014 to April 2015.
A total of 20 patients were included, whose median age was 13.3 years (range, 3.8-18.1 years), and all of them had history of BCG vaccination. Eleven patients had underlying diseases including 7 patients with immunosuppressant medication. The concordance rate between T-SPOT.TB and QFT-G was 90%. However, the concordance rate between TST and T-SPOT.TB was 50%, and between TST and QFT-G was 42.9%. Specificity for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection of T-SPOT.TB, QFT-G, and TST was 93.3%, 86.7%, and 58.3%, respectively.
Although there was a discrepancy between TST and IGRA to diagnose tuberculosis, agreement between T-SPOT.TB and QFT-G was relatively high. Further prospective study to validate the clinical usefulness of each assay for immunologic evidence of tuberculosis infection in Korean children will be mandatory.


Tuberculosis; Latent tuberculosis infection; T-spot; Quantiferon test; Children
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