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TB test positive. Put on occlusive bandaid. Would this cause false result?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Several months ago I had a TB test which was read as positive.....however, the nurse put an occlusive bandaid over the site.....would this cause a false positive?
Posted Sun, 9 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Mamun Kabir 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

Tuberculin skin test is not confirmatory. If it is associated with other features of tuberculosis, then it becomes significant.

The cause of false positivity are BCG vaccination & exposure to area where non tuberculous mycobacteria are high.

I don't think that an occlusive bandaid over the site would cause a false positive report.

You may go for further relevant investigation as per your doctor's advice.

Please write for further query.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: TB test positive. Put on occlusive bandaid. Would this cause false result? 2 days later
I had a follow up chest x-ray which was negative....but it has been suggested that I undergo a nine month course of antibiotics, as a preventative measure, to be certain I do not develop TB in the future. I have researched the negative side effects of these antibiotics, especially in mature adults, and am not eager to submit to them.

One other factor, which I neglected to mention....the night I received my TB test, I went to bed with a heating pad on my hip, due to a recent injury resulting from a skating accident.

Sometime during the night, I awoke with the arm bearing the test resting on the heating pad. I then removed the bandaid and found the test site to be extremely errythemic....but no induration was noted at that time. However, the inflammation increased significantly by morning, and the following evening the test was positive. Your thoughts please......would the exposure to heat result in a false positive?

Answered by Dr. Mamun Kabir 44 hours later

Thank you for your follow up question.

In case of doubt it is better to repeat the test, because it is important as you have to complete the antibiotic course on the basis of this investigation.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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