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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-93

Incremental yield of second sputum smear examination for diagnosis of tuberculosis patients at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Puducherry, India

Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramesh Chand Chauhan
Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry - 605 014
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.182907

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Background and Objectives: The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) guidelines recommend two sputum smear examinations for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). This does not reduce the patient's inconvenience and laboratory workload. So, the present study was conducted to assess the contribution of second sputum smear examination for the diagnosis of TB. Materials and Methods: A retrospective record review of TB laboratory registers at a tertiary care medical college hospital in Puducherry, India was conducted from April 2009 to December 2012. Results: A total of 2,917 patients were recorded in the RNTCP laboratory registers during the study period. Of these, 2,869 (98.4%) patients had given sputum samples for diagnosis and 48 (1.6%) were follow-up cases on TB treatment. Among 2,869 TB suspects, 397 (13.8%) were acid-fast bacilli (AFB)-positive although 616 (21.5%) failed to submit their second sputum samples. Further, among 2,253 (78.5%) TB suspects who submitted two sputum samples, 361 (16.0%) were AFB-positive. Of these, 98.3%, 98.6%, and 96.9% were positive on the first, second, and both sputum smear examinations, respectively. The additional yield of the second sputum smear was 1.7%. Conclusions: The incremental yield of second smear examination is low; this indicates that single sputum smear examination is enough for the diagnosis of TB in tertiary health care settings.

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