Rheumatoid arthritis therapy and tuberculin skin test (tst)
previous scientific and clinical studies have identified that drugs commonly used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis can lead to the activation of latent tuberculosis infections (ltbi). This potentially life-threatening complication of therapy has resulted in the usa food and drug administration recommending that all rheumatoid arthritis patients are evaluated for ltbi prior to commencing therapy.
The study, which was published in the september issue of the annals of rheumatic diseases by Dr. Ponce de leÃ³n and colleagues, clearly demonstrates that the tst is not an appropriate test to identify ltbi prior to chemotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis. The use of a ltbi diagnostic such as the quantiferonÂ®-tb gold test would prove invaluable in this clinical setting as it is not influenced by bcg vaccination status or individuals with mild to moderate immunosuppression.
Ponce de leÃ³n d., acevedo-vasquez e., sanchez-torres a., cucho m., alfaro j., perich r., pastor c., harrison j. And sanchez-schwartz c. (2005) âattenuated response to purified protein derivative in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: study in a population with a high prevalence of tuberculosis.â ann. Rheum. Dis. 64, 1360-1361.