Radiographic lesions suggesting old healed tuberculosis (TB) is considered a risk factor for the subsequent development of active TB. The aim of this study was to estimate the positive rates of tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) in persons with old healed TB. Participants with lesions suggesting old healed TB on chest images and controls without such lesions were prospectively enrolled between January 1, 2010, and January 31, 2011. TST and the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) were performed. In total, 193 participants with old healed TB and 126 controls were recruited. The rates of positive TST and QFT-GIT among patients with old healed TB were 54.6% and 77.7%, respectively. The rates of positive TST and QFT-GIT among patients without old healed TB were 38.9% and 61.9%. Sixteen percent of participants with old healed TB showed negative results by both TST and QFT-GIT. The positive rate of TST waned among participants with old healed TB who were older than 60 yr, whereas QFT-GIT positivity was unaffected by age. The positive rates of TST and IGRA among participants with radiographic lesions suggesting old healed TB was higher than without those lesions. In addition, IGRA may be more accurate than TST for the detection of latent TB infection, especially in populations of individuals older than 60 yr.
Keywords: Pulmonary; Radiology and Other Imaging; Tuberculosis.