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Review: heterogeneous studies show that nucleic acid amplification tests accurately rule in but do not rule out TB

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 Q In patients who have tuberculosis (TB), what is the accuracy of rapid diagnostic tests?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Infectious disease ★★★★★★☆ Respirology ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

10 healthcare databases and 11 grey literature databases (to Mar 2004), trial registries, meeting abstracts and conference proceedings, Science Citation Index, reference lists, experts, and manufacturers of tests.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

English language studies that compared a rapid test for detecting pulmonary and extra-pulmonary TB with a reference standard and reported sufficient data to construct a 2 x 2 table. 212 studies (368 data sets) were included. Quality assessment criteria included use of an appropriate gold standard and blinding of test interpretation.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios.


The table shows the results for groups of tests …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J Dinnes, University of Southampton, UK

  • Source of funding: NHS R&D HTA Programme