Efficacy of an in-house polymerase chain reaction assay for rapid diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients with tubercular lymphadenitis: Comparison with fine needle aspiration cytology and conventional techniques

Meera Sharma, Sunil Sethi, Ashwini Kumar Mishra, Shiv Sekhar Chatterjee, Ajay Wanchu, Raje Nijhawan

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8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Tubercular lymphadenitis (TB-L) is the most common manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Excisional biopsy with histopathological examination, Ziehl-Neelsen staining (ZNS) and culture and fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology, although useful in the diagnosis of TB-L, cannot diagnose a substantial proportion of cases. We investigated the role of an in-house polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the IS6110 gene from the FNA material in the diagnosis of the disease. Materials and Methods: The clinical profile of 150 patients with lymphadenopathy was noted and the fine needle aspirate was collected. After cytological processing, ZNS and culture on Lowenstein-Jensen media, mycobacterial DNA was isolated from the residual aspirate material and IS6110 gene PCR was performed. Results of cytology, ZNS, culture and IS6110 gene PCR were compared. Results: There were 49 confirmed patients of TB-L based on laboratory parameters (either culture isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or any two of cytology, ZNS, PCR positive) and clinical response to therapy. Sensitivity and specificity of FNA was 89.8% and 96%, of ZNS was 40.8% and 99%, of culture was 40.8% and 100% and of IS6110 gene PCR test was 100% and 92.1%. Conclusion: IS6110 PCR can be considered a valuable adjunct to cytology, ZNS and culture techniques in the diagnosis of TB-L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-717
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010



  • Fine needle aspiration cytology
  • IS6110 PCR
  • tubercular lymphadenitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Microbiology (medical)

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