Utility of QuantiFERON TB gold test in a south Indian patient population of ocular inflammation

Indian J Ophthalmol. Nov-Dec 2009;57(6):427-30. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.57147.


Aim: To study the utility of interferon-g release assays (QuantiFERON TB gold test) in a south Indian patient population of intraocular inflammation.

Design: Evaluation of a diagnostic test- a pilot study from January 2007 to October 2008.

Materials and methods: QuantiFERON TB gold test was performed on the following groups of patients following an informed consent. Group A included healthy volunteers without any exposure to tuberculosis (TB) or past history of TB (n=22). Group B included patients with active systemic TB diagnosed by the demonstration of acid-fast bacilli or by the histopathology finding of caseation with granuloma formation from the sputum, lymph node, skin or intestinal biopsies (n=26). Group C included patients with uveitis of known etiologies other than intraocular TB without any history of exposure to active TB (n=21). Group D included patients with a diagnosis of presumed intraocular TB, who responded to antitubercular therapy by decreased or no recurrences following treatment and with a minimum of nine months follow-up following initiation of antitubercular therapy (n=39).

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the QuantiFERON TB gold test to pick up active systemic TB was 58% and 77% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the QuantiFERON TB gold test to pickup intraocular TB was 82% and 76% respectively.

Conclusions: QuantiFERON TB gold test alone may not be specific for intraocular TB. The significance of this test in a case scenario needs to be interpreted with clinical presentation and other evidences for intraocular TB.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Interferon-gamma / blood*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / blood
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / epidemiology


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Interferon-gamma