Introduction: Tuberculous peritonitis remains a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Many studies have investigated the usefulness of adenosine deaminase (ADA) in ascites for the diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis; however, the overall diagnostic accuracy of ADA for tuberculous peritonitis remains unclear. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to determine the overall accuracy of ADA measurements in the diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis.
Material and methods: We performed a systematic search in PubMed and Embase to identify published studies that evaluated the diagnostic role of ADA for tuberculous peritonitis. Quality was assessed according to standardized Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies criteria. Sensitivity, specificity and other measures of accuracy of ADA assay in order to diagnose tuberculous peritonitis were pooled using random effects models. Summary receiver operating characteristic curve (SROC) was used to summarize overall test performance.
Results: Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria for the present meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing tuberculous peritonitis were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.89-0.95) and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.94-0.97), respectively. The positive likelihood ratio was 15.80 (95% CI: 10.87-22.95), negative likelihood ratio was 0.09 (95% CI: 0.05-0.16) and diagnostic odds ratio was 249.28 (95% CI: 113.11-549.39). The area under the SROC was 0.98.
Conclusions: Ascitic ADA determination is a relatively sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis. Measurement of ADA in ascites is thus likely to be a useful diagnostic method for tuberculous peritonitis.
Keywords: adenosine deaminase; meta-analysis; tuberculous peritonitis.