The value of ascites gamma interferon concentration and ascites adenosine deaminase activity in distinguishing tuberculosis from other causes of ascites was examined in a prospective study of 86 patients with ascites, including 16 with tuberculous peritonitis. Gamma interferon concentration was higher in tuberculous peritonitis than in the other causes of ascites (p < 0.0001), and a cut-off between 3 and 9 u/ml reached a sensitivity and a specificity of 100%. The mean (± SD) gamma interferon level in tuberculous ascites was 39.3 ± 18.3 u/ml in patients seronegative for HIV and 14.2 ± 4.7 μ/ml in patients with AIDS (p = 0.01). Adenosine deaminase activity in tuberculous ascites was also higher than in the other causes of ascites (p < 0.0001), and a cut-off of 40 u/l reached a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97%. The two false positives for adenosine deaminase test were true negatives for the gamma interferon test. There was no significant correlation between gamma interferon concentration and adenosine deaminase activity either in tuberculous ascitis or in any other group. This study suggests that ascites gamma interferon determination may be very useful in the screening of tuberculous peritonitis, but Its cost makes it advisable to use adenosine deaminase activity as a routine test, at least in areas where tuberculosis is endemic. © 1991.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1991|