14 doctors weighed in:

Is the skin test as accurate as a chest X-ray for tb?

14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
8 doctors agree

In brief: Yes and no

The skin test almost always shows if you have been exposed to TB but does not mean you have active disease.
The chest x-ray indicates if you have significant lung infection, but does not show early or very mild infections.

In brief: Yes and no

The skin test almost always shows if you have been exposed to TB but does not mean you have active disease.
The chest x-ray indicates if you have significant lung infection, but does not show early or very mild infections.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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2 comments
Dr. Pam Yoder
Which tb test?
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
The Mantoux test (PPD, purified protein derivative, tuberculin) is the most accurate and reproducible test. The Tine test also accurate, although some are concerned it is less reproducible.
Dr. Rakhi Dimino
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree

In brief: No

The skin test is a screening test to see if you might have been exposed to or contracted tb.
If the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray is done to see if you have active tb.

In brief: No

The skin test is a screening test to see if you might have been exposed to or contracted tb.
If the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray is done to see if you have active tb.
Dr. Rakhi Dimino
Dr. Rakhi Dimino
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Dr. Andrew Ho
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Common mistake BCG

Some people get bacille calmette guerin (bcg), which is a TB vaccine used worldwide (except U.
S.) and can cause life-long false positive skin test. Ignorant public health agencies have been known to force TB treatment in such cases. For people who received bcg, TB blood testing is much more specific. You can read about this at the cdc website: http://www.Cdc.Gov/tb/topic/testing/default.Htm.

In brief: Common mistake BCG

Some people get bacille calmette guerin (bcg), which is a TB vaccine used worldwide (except U.
S.) and can cause life-long false positive skin test. Ignorant public health agencies have been known to force TB treatment in such cases. For people who received bcg, TB blood testing is much more specific. You can read about this at the cdc website: http://www.Cdc.Gov/tb/topic/testing/default.Htm.
Dr. Andrew Ho
Dr. Andrew Ho
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Dr. Alfredo Garcia
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: TB test

The skin test (tuberculin, ppd) is very accurate in detecting the presence of tuberculosis.
A chest x-ray will show positive findings of tuberculosis only if there is active disease. A negative chest x-ray does not rule out tuberculosis but a positive tuberculin will, despite absence of symptoms.

In brief: TB test

The skin test (tuberculin, ppd) is very accurate in detecting the presence of tuberculosis.
A chest x-ray will show positive findings of tuberculosis only if there is active disease. A negative chest x-ray does not rule out tuberculosis but a positive tuberculin will, despite absence of symptoms.
Dr. Alfredo Garcia
Dr. Alfredo Garcia
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