Objective: To evaluate the utility of sputum induction in the large-scale tuberculosis control program.
Methods: Prospective study on sputum induction for improving the diagnostic yield of pulmonary tuberculosis, and estimation of the direct costs for sputum induction.
Results: Of 1,648 tuberculosis suspects with poor or absent sputum production, induced sputum was smear-positive in 558 patients (353 previously smear-negative, 97 inadequate sputum and 108 unproductive). The direct cost per induced sputum was US $0.37.
Conclusion: Sputum induction is an effective, low-cost, and simple technique for improving the smear-positive case detection rate in a tuberculosis control program.