TB diagnosis and Treatment
TB is a very dangerous and serious disease. There are about millions of new cases of TB diagnosed each year around the world. Also, there are almost 3 million people who have TB but have not been diagnosed. It is really important for people to monitor their health and be aware of TB infection. If you have symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, night sweat, fever, fatigue, chest pain and coughing for weeks or even coughing up blood, you should suspect your have the TB and go see the doctor.
Usually not all of the people who have TB bacteria in their bodies will be sick. There are two types of TB infection: latent TB infection and active TB infection. It is hard to diagnosis latent TB infection because there are no symptoms. On the other hand, active TB infection is much easier to diagnosis than the latent TB infection. However, sometimes misdiagnosis can occur because the symptoms of active TB infection are very similar to the symptoms of upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, cold and pneumonia.
A TB skin test, also known as a PPD test, and a TB blood test are the two most commonly used ways to test for TB. For the TB skin test, the doctor will inject a small amount of liquid called tuberculin, a protein extract from cultures of TB bacteria, into the skin of your arm. The patients usually need to wait 48 to 72 hours for the test result. If you have a localized swelling at your injection area, it means you probably have the TB disease. However, the test result can be wrong. A negative test result could be a false negative, which means the individual could have TB; this occurs in 5% to 10% of patients, especially in patients who have HIV, children and elderly people. On the other hand, the test result could be false positive which means the individual doesn’t have the TB infection. This may occur to an individual who recently vaccinated with the bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. Also, the false positive test result may be caused by a laboratory error.
We can also use blood test to measure the patients’ immune system’s reaction to the TB bacteria. This will help us to confirm or invalidate the TB infection. If the result of the TB skin test is positive, the doctor will order a chest X-ray, which can detect all the abnormal areas. In addition, if your chest X-ray suggests you have a TB infection, the doctor will collect some amount of your mucus, also called sputum, and do the sputum culture. This is called a sputum test. If the patient has fugui and it leads to the growth of the infection in this culture, the culture is positive. If the culture is positive, doctors will also do a sensitivity test, which basically finds the best antibiotic to treat this infection. Then, doctors can determine what kind of medication will be the most effective for the patient.
However, it is difficult to diagnosis HIV associated and drug resistant TB. The 125-year-old sputum test has many disadvantages including the “low...