Concentration of fine needle aspirates similar to molecular method improves sensitivity of the diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Olifan Zewdie, Tamrat Abebe, Adane Mihret, Eyob Hirpa, Gobena Ameni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBLN) diagnosis has been a true challenge solely by clinical evidence in developing countries, due to limited the diagnostic facility on hand. However, the availability and affordability of available diagnostic tools in resource-limited settings like Ethiopia necessitates the quest for other techniques with added value over direct Z-N microscopy. Therefore, we aimed at to assess whether the concentration of lymph node aspirate similarly improves the detection rate of tuberculous lymphadenitis or not. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study design was conducted on 132 individual subjects presumptive for tuberculous lymphadenitis from February to October 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Fine needle aspirate (FNA) samples were collected from the cases and cultured on Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) slants. Identification of species and strains of mycobacteria was made by region of difference (RD) based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Data entry and statistical analyses were performed by SPSS version 20. The confidence level of 95% was used for statistical significance. Result: A total of 132 study subjects were included in our study. Of these 56.1% (74/132) were positive for M. tuberculosis on culture. The detection rate of direct smear microscopy and the concentration method were 29.5 and 65.2% respectively. The sensitivity of direct smear microscopy was 43.2%, for concentrated smear microscopy 94.5%, for PCR 93.2% and for cytomorphology 95.4%. The level of agreement of concentrated ZN smear microscopy was 0.62 which was very similar with kappa of 0.58 of molecular (PCR) technique. AFB positivity by the concentration method and molecular method was increased in caseous aspirates as compared to purulent and hemorrhagic aspirates though it was not statistically significant (p-value = 0.18) and (p = 0.62) respectively. Conclusion: The concentration of FNA (Fine Needle Aspirate) aspirates for acid-fast smear microscopy similarly improves the sensitivity of acid fast bacilli in diagnosing of TBLN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Addis Ababa
  • FNA
  • PCR
  • Smear concentration
  • TBLN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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