Journal of Cytology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 157-164

Immunocytochemistry versus nucleic acid amplification in fine needle aspirates and tissues of extrapulmonary tuberculosis


1 Department of Pathology, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (erstwhile King George's Medical University) Lucknow, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (erstwhile King George's Medical University) Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Mati Goel
Department of Pathology, CSM Medical University (erstwhile King George's Medical University) Lucknow
India
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Source of Support: Council of Science and Technology, UP, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9371.101151

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Background: Immunocytochemistry (ICC) is an established routine diagnostic adjunct to cytology and histology for tumor diagnosis but has received little attention for diagnosis of tuberculosis. Aims: To have an objective method of direct visualization of mycobacteria or their products in clinical extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) specimens, immunocytochemical localization of M. tuberculosis antigen by staining with species specific monoclonal antibody to 38-kDa antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Materials and Methods: Immunostaining with specific monoclonal antibody to 38-kDa antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex was done in fresh and archival fine needle aspirates and tissue granulomata of 302 cases of extrapulmonary tuberculosis and was compared with the molecular diagnostic i.e., nucleic amplification and conventional [Cytomorphology, Ziehl Neelsen (ZN) staining and culture] tests and 386 controls. Results: Diagnostic indices by Bayesian analysis for all types of archival and fresh material varied from 64 to 76% in nucleic acid amplification (NAA) and 96 to 98% in ICC. There was no significant difference in the diagnostic indices of ZN staining and/ or ICC in fresh or archival material whereas the sensitivity of NAA differed significantly in fresh versus archival material both in cytology (71.4% vs 52.1%) and histology (51.1% vs 38.8%). ICC can be easily used on archival smears and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections with almost equal sensitivity and specificity as with fresh material, in contrast to NAA which showed significant difference in test results on archival and fresh material. Conclusions: Low detection sensitivity of MTB DNA in archival material from known tuberculous cases showed the limitation of in-house NAA-based molecular diagnosis. ICC was found to be sensitive, specific and a better technique than NAA and can be used as an adjunct to conventional morphology and ZN staining for the diagnosis of EPTB in tissue granulomas.


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