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The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

Markers to differentiate between Kaposi's sarcoma and tuberculous pleural effusions in HIV-positive patients.


PMID 25574911

Abstract

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and tuberculosis (TB) commonly cause pleural effusions in high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) burden resource-limited countries. Differentiating between them is challenging, as pleural biopsy and TB culture are rarely available. To identify markers to differentiate between TB effusions and KS effusions in HIV-positive patients, and to compare liquid culture and Xpert MTB/RIF in pleural fluid. Fifty HIV-positive patients with pleural effusions recruited in Malawi underwent pleural ultrasound and aspiration. Fluid visual inspection, cell count, bacterial culture, glucose/protein, solid and liquid TB culture and Xpert were performed. The mean age of the patients was 32 years; 30/50 (60%) were male and 29 (58%) had cutaneous/oral KS. Thirteen (26%) pleural fluid samples were liquid culture-positive for TB, while 9/13 (69%) were Xpert-positive. Three (10.3%) KS patients had culture-positive TB effusions; 17 (58.6%) had KS effusions. The relative risk of TB in KS patients increased with limited KS, loculated fluid and low glucose. Eleven (52.3%) non-KS patients had culture-positive TB effusions associated with male sex, straw-coloured fluid and fibrin stranding on ultrasound. KS patients were most likely to have KS effusion, but TB should be considered. Most non-KS patients had TB, supporting the use of World Health Organization guidelines. Xpert identified two thirds of liquid culture-positive results.

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