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Diagnostic value of pleural fluid interferon-gamma and adenosine deaminase in patients with pleural tuberculosis in Qatar

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Fahmi Yousef Khan,1 Maha Hamza,2 Aisha Hussein Omran,2 Muhannad Saleh,2 Mona Lingawi,2 Adel Alnaqdy,3 Mohamed Osman Abdel Rahman,3 Hasan Syed Ahmedullah,4 Alan Hamza,1 Ahmed AL Ani,1 Mehdi Errayes,1 Mona Almaslamani,4 Ahmed Ali Mahmood21Department of Medicine, 2Department of Pulmonary Medicine, 3Laboratory Department, 4Infectious Disease Division, Department of Medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, QatarObjective: To investigate the diagnostic utility of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) in tuberculous pleural effusions by determining the best cutoff levels of these two markers for pleural tuberculosis, in the context of the local epidemiological settings in Qatar.Methods: We prospectively studied IFN-γ and ADA levels in the pleural fluid of patients presenting to Hamad General Hospital between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010.Results: We studied 103 patients with pleural effusions, 72 (69.9%) with pleural tuberculosis, and 31 (30.1%) with nontuberculous etiologies. The mean IFN-γ concentration for the group with tuberculous effusions was significantly higher than that in the group with nontuberculous effusions (1.98 ± 81 vs 0.26 ± 10 pg/mL [P < 0.0001]). The mean ADA activity for the tuberculous effusions group was significantly higher than that in group with nontuberculous effusions (41.30 ± 20.09 vs 14.93 ± 14.87 U/L [P < 0.0001]). By analysis of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, the best cutoff values for IFN-γ and ADA were 0.5 pg/mL and 16.65 U/L, respectively. The results for IFN-γ vs ADA were: for sensitivity, 100% vs 86%, respectively; for specificity, 100% vs 74%, respectively; for positive predictive value, 100% vs 88.5%, respectively; and for negative predictive value, 100% vs 69.7%, respectively.Conclusion: IFN-γ and ADA could be used as valuable parameters for the differentiation of tuberculous from nontuberculous effusion, and IFN-γ was more sensitive and specific for tuberculous effusion than ADA.Keywords: pleural effusion, parapneumonic effusion, malignant effusion

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