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Prescription pattern of tuberculin skin test (TST) in a teaching hospital

Sandeep Sachdeva, Ruchi Sachdeva.


Background: Tuberculin skin test (TST) is one of the tools for the identification of latent tubercular infection and is an ancillary test for diagnosis of active tuberculosis.

Aims & Objective: The objective of this study was to assess specialty department wise prescription of Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) in a government teaching hospital.

Material and Methods: Considering resource constraint and feasibility, one month was randomly selected during 2012 and two working days in each week were systematically covered i.e. Mon-Tue (first week), Wed-Thus (second week), Fri-Sat (third week) and again Mon-Tue (fourth week). Selected information of all patients reporting to receive TST on these days was recorded on a pre-structured proforma. TST was administered by a single investigator using standard protocol and results observed between 48-72 hours.

Results: A total of 372 ambulatory suspect TB patients reported to received TST with mean age of 25 years (±18.13); female constituted 52.4%. Specialty department wise prescription of TST was as follows: paediatrics (29.3%); general medicine (18.0%); OBG (15.9%); surgery (12.9%); chest and TB (11.3%), orthopaedics (8.1%) and others (4.6%). The results of 227 (61.02%) patients who returned for follow up were grouped into < 10 mm (54.0%) and ≥ 10 mm (45.79%).

Conclusion: Proportion of age distribution of patients in study sample was found to be similar in comparison to population structure of India. Paediatric (up to 14 years) patients were in majority (29.3%) amongst study samples where TST results could be of some significance.

Key words: Tuberculosis; Latent Infection; Tuberculin Skin Test; Teaching Hospital

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