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Is it important to undergo AFB test if the result of the x ray is "PTB minimal activity undetermined?"

Is it really important to undergo AFB test if the result of the x-ray is "PTB minimal activity undetermined".?

Are doctors really cant prescribed such medicines without any result of the sputum.?

Also, base on the above stated result of the xray, is the person can go for work while waiting the result of the sputum? and what is the probability of the result for the sputum with regards to the result of the xray.? would it be positive or negative.?
Asked On : Mon, 8 Apr 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  80
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Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Lab Tests
General & Family Physician 's  Response
Welcome to HCM

The result of AFB can be either negative or positive regardless of the x-ray findings.

The AFB positive means that the patient is excreting the infection in the droplets in the environment and thus is the source of spreading TB. Keeping such patient in general wards and leaving them in open environment and in contact with the community is a crime. Therefore identifying such patient through AFB is very much necessary.

Hope you understand the importance of AFB test.

Answered: Tue, 9 Apr 2013
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  Anonymous's Response

The 6-week culture report of AFB or the gamma interferon assay to determine mycobacterial TB activity is considered the most important tests as Chest X Ray is insensitive to diagnose TB with absolute confidence.

Serial Chest X Ray findings to see the resolution of previous known TB is used when the altenative is not there. If there are cavities on Chest X Ray, then there is open TB, and it is not safe to work unless cleared by your doctor or you have discussed with your Occupational Therapy Doctor.

Best Wishes.
Answered: Tue, 9 Apr 2013
Pathologist and Microbiologist Dr. Shailja Puri 's  Response
Hello and welcome to HCM,

AFB positivity is a confirmatory test for tuberculosis.
The treatment for tuberculosis is long and consists of a number of medicines. So, a confirmatory test is needed to start with the treatment.

Yes you can go for work while the results are awaited.
There is an equivocal possibility of the sputum being positive.

It is best to wait for the results.

Thanks and take care care.
Dr Shailja P Wahal
Answered: Mon, 8 Apr 2013
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