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Such a thing as false/positive TB quantiferon test

Lung Health | Last Active: Mar 4 9:11am | Replies (12)

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@dmk21 Welcome to Mayo Connect. I think your message got overlooked for a bit during the holiday, but I will try to answer you now.
As to whether there is such a thing as a false positive on this test, there is some evidence it can happen if one is exposed but not infected. That is why, even with a positive test, a lung x-rays is done before treatment is initiated.
I am going to make an assumption here, that if you are required to have an annual TB test, you work either in health care, in a job with high risk of exposure, or with immunocompromised people. If that is the case, state and federal regulations determine how long you will have to have a chest x-ray. Check with your state health department. By the way, someone in HR or your employee health office may just be automatically ordering it without checking the regs, so it would be a good idea to get the rules from the source.

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Replies to "@dmk21 Welcome to Mayo Connect. I think your message got overlooked for a bit during the..."

I am a healthcare worker of 30 years. I worked in a pvt hosptial for 25 years. The clientele was that of middle to upper class, and so was the area. When I tested positive, the pulmonologist worked in my hospital, was baffled like I was. That is why we both agreed to wait on treatment as the X-ray was negative and so was my 3 month and 6 month repeat quantiferon

I am very curious as to what quantiferon negative is? 78 years ago, I had a Tuberculin test that was positive, with a follow up chest Xray. As a child (18 months old) I had double pneumonia and my mother said I had scarring of my lung. But, when I started High School it was determined I had Tuberculosis, I was removed from my home, and placed in San Francisco General Tuberculosis Hospital for 3 months. l was then sent to Hassler Health Hospital for another 8 months. I was not allowed to leave my bed except to go to the bathroom, during all this time. I never had a positive sputum, even though I was tested monthly, and no change in chest x-ray or fluoroscope (which was also done monthly). I was 14 years old and lost 1 full year of school. I know today, there are medications to cure Tuberculosis and thus I am most interested in the above terminology.