TB Gold Test - Price, Normal Range, Report, Positive Means
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Tuberculosis or TB is a major global health concern, with millions of people infected and thousands losing their lives every year. TB Gold Test is a groundbreaking approach to screening for tuberculosis (TB).
The TB Gold test, or Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA), is a blood test to detect tuberculosis (TB) infection. This assists healthcare professionals in the timely diagnosis of the disease. Read on to know all the nuances of the TB Gold test, TB Gold test price, and its normal range in detail.
About TB Gold Test
QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) is a simple blood test designed to identify the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis (TB). This laboratory-based test requires only one visit, making it convenient for patients.
TB Gold test measures the interferon-gamma release by immune cells in response to TB antigens. In simple terms, the test checks how immune cells in your body respond to tuberculosis (TB) antigens by measuring the release of a substance called interferon-gamma.
The test cannot differentiate between active TB disease and latent TB infection. QFT should be used in conjunction with radiography, risk assessment, and other medical evaluations for comprehensive diagnosis. It offers high specificity and sensitivity, providing accurate results to confirm tuberculosis infection.
Active TB disease refers to a contagious form of tuberculosis where symptoms are present, and the person is ill. Latent TB infection, on the other hand, indicates the presence of TB bacteria in the body without active illness or symptoms.
Need for TB Gold Test?
The TB Gold test is used to assist in the diagnosis of TB infection. It is typically recommended for individuals who may have been exposed to TB or are at risk of TB-related conditions. TB Gold test is necessary and beneficial because of the following-
1. Improved Accuracy: The TB Gold Test offers higher sensitivity and specificity compared to older screening methods, such as the tuberculin skin test (TST). It significantly reduces the chances of false-positive or false-negative results, ensuring that individuals with latent TB infection (LTBI) are accurately identified.
2. Detecting Latent TB Infection (LTBI): An individual who has a TB infection in their system but does not yet have active TB disease is said to have a latent TB infection. The TB Gold Test is specifically designed to detect LTBI, helping identify individuals who are at risk of developing active TB in the future.
3. Contacts of Active TB Cases: When a person is in close contact with someone diagnosed with active TB, there is an increased risk of TB transmission. The TB Gold Test can help identify LTBI in these contacts and initiate preventive treatment promptly.
4. Targeted Treatment: Detecting LTBI through the TB Gold Test allows for targeted treatment with isoniazid or other preventive medications. This approach can reduce the risk of the latent infection progressing to active TB disease, thus contributing to TB control efforts.
5. Identifying Individuals at Higher Risk: Certain populations, such as healthcare workers, immigrants from high TB burden countries, and immunocompromised individuals, are at a higher risk of TB infection. The TB Gold Test can be particularly valuable in screening these high-risk groups for LTBI.
Benefits of TB Gold Test
The TB Gold test offers several benefits in detecting and managing tuberculosis (TB). Here are some key advantages of the TB Gold test:
Improved accuracy: The TB Gold test provides higher specificity and sensitivity than the traditional tuberculin skin test (TST). It reduces false-positive results caused by cross-reactions with the BCG vaccine or non-tuberculosis mycobacteria.
Single patient visit: Unlike the TST, which requires two patient visits for administration and interpretation, the TB Gold test can be completed in one visit. This saves time for both healthcare providers and patients.
Standardised Interpretation: The TST relies on visual inspection and subjective performance of the skin reaction, which can vary among healthcare providers. In contrast, the TB Gold test is a laboratory-based assay that provides objective and standardized results.
Quicker results: The TB Gold test provides results within a few days, allowing for prompt diagnosis and appropriate management of TB. This is particularly beneficial in situations where rapid identification and initiation of treatment are crucial, such as contact investigations or screening high-risk populations.
Flexibility in sample collection: The TB Gold test requires a simple blood draw. This makes it easier to collect samples from individuals, including children and the elderly.
Integration with other diagnostics: The TB Gold test can be used with other diagnostic tools, such as chest X-rays and sputum culture. This helps enhance the accuracy of TB diagnosis and optimize patient management.
Preparing for the TB Gold Test is relatively simple, and most individuals do not require any specific preparation. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help ensure accurate results and a smooth testing process:
Medications: The healthcare provider should be informed about any medications the individual is currently taking, including antibiotics, steroids, or immunosuppressive drugs, as these may potentially affect the test results.
Medical Conditions: Individuals should discuss any medical conditions or allergies with their healthcare provider before the test.
Discuss previous TB exposure or history: Inform your healthcare provider if you have been exposed to someone with active TB or if you have a history of TB infection or TB treatment. This information is essential for proper evaluation and interpretation of the test results.
No fasting required: Unlike some other medical tests, the TB Gold Test does not require fasting. You can eat and drink as usual before the test.
Dress comfortably: Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to your arm for blood collection. This will make the blood draw process more comfortable.
Informed Consent: Before undergoing the TB Gold Test, you will likely be asked to provide informed consent. Take the time to read and understand the consent form, and feel free to ask any questions you may have before signing.
Follow any specific instructions: If your healthcare provider gives you any specific instructions or precautions to take before the test, make sure to follow them accordingly.
How is a TB Gold Test Performed?
The TB Gold test is performed in a precise manner while taking all the required aspects into consideration. This involves the hygiene level, the comfort of the patient and the accuracy of the test. Here are the steps involved in carrying out the test:
The patient is typically seated comfortably, and their arm is extended and positioned for easy access to the vein.
A tourniquet, usually an elastic band, is wrapped around the upper arm, creating gentle pressure. This helps to temporarily slow down blood flow, making the veins more visible and easier to locate.
The healthcare professional palpates the arm to identify a suitable vein, often in the inner elbow or back of the hand.
The healthcare professional applies an antiseptic, such as alcohol, to clean the area around the selected vein. This step helps prevent infection.
A sterile needle is gently inserted into the vein, and the healthcare professional may ask the patient to relax their arm during this process.
The blood flows into the syringe or tube as the healthcare professional slowly pulls back on the plunger or applies vacuum pressure, collecting the required amount of blood.
Once the blood is collected, the healthcare professional carefully removes the needle from the vein.
The healthcare professional may apply light pressure to the puncture site using a cotton ball or gauze pad to stop any bleeding. They then cover the site with a bandage to protect it.
The blood sample is then processed in a laboratory.
In the laboratory, the blood is mixed with specific TB antigens.
The antigens stimulate the patient's immune cells to release interferon-gamma if exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
After incubation, the amount of interferon-gamma released is measured.
The test provides results indicating whether the patient's immune cells have responded to TB antigens, indicating TB infection.
The test typically requires only one patient visit, as the blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Aftercare of the TB Gold Test
Typically, no after-care is required after a TB Gold test. The patient can typically resume his/ her normal activities immediately after the test, although he/she should follow any specific instructions provided by the doctor.
The TB Gold test report is usually available within 24 to 36 Hours. Once the results are received, the doctor will schedule an appointment to discuss the results.
TB Gold Test & Result Interpretation
The Quantiferon TB Gold Test has a normal range between 1 mcg/L and 10 mcg/L. Results falling between 9 and 10 mcg/L are considered within the normal range. Interpreting the results of a TB Gold test requires careful consideration and understanding. Here's a guide to interpreting TB Gold blood test results:
A positive TB Gold test result indicates the presence of an immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens.
Other diagnostic tests, like chest X-rays and sputum tests, are needed to determine the presence of active TB disease.
The TB Gold test normal range is typically reported as negative, indicating no active tuberculosis infection.
False negatives can occur in cases of immunocompromised individuals or those with limited immune responses.
Repeat testing may be required in certain situations, such as high-risk individuals or if clinical suspicion of TB remains.
An indeterminate TB Gold blood test result occurs when the test fails to provide a definitive positive or negative result.
It can occur for various reasons, including technical issues, inadequate blood samples, or problems with the assay.
Risks and Complications of TB Gold Test
Like any medical procedure, the TB Gold test may have risks and potential complications. Here are some points to consider regarding the risks and complications associated with the TB Gold test:
Blood draw discomfort: Drawing blood from a vein may cause temporary pain, such as a pinching or pricking sensation. Some individuals may experience slight bruising or bleeding at the site.
Infection: While rare, there is a minimal infection risk at the blood draw site. Healthcare professionals follow strict hygiene and safety protocols to minimize this risk.
Fainting or lightheadedness: Some individuals may feel lightheaded or faint after the blood draw. It is advisable to inform the healthcare provider if you have a history of fainting or feeling lightheaded during blood tests.
Allergic reactions: There is a remote possibility of an allergic reaction to the needle, antiseptics used, or other components involved in the test. If you have known allergies, informing the healthcare provider beforehand is essential.
Risk of Delayed TB Gold Test
Delaying the TB Gold test may pose risks as it could lead to a delay in diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) infection or related conditions. Timely testing is crucial for prompt identification and appropriate management of TB cases. Here are some key points regarding the risks associated with postponing the TB Gold test:
Progression of disease: Delaying the TB Gold test can delay diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) infection or disease. This can allow the infection to progress, potentially leading to more severe symptoms, complications, and an increased risk of transmitting the disease to others.
Transmission to others: TB is an airborne disease, and individuals with active TB can spread the bacteria to others through respiratory droplets. There is a higher risk of transmitting the infection to close contacts, including family members, if the test is delayed in such a case.
Complications and Comorbidities: Late detection may result in the development of complications and comorbidities associated with TB, such as respiratory issues, organ damage, or the involvement of other body systems.
Delayed Treatment Initiation: Delaying the TB Gold test can lead to a delay in starting appropriate treatment, which can impact the effectiveness of therapy and prolong the recovery process.
Cost of TB Gold Test
The cost of the TB Gold test can vary depending on several factors. Here are factors that can affect the cost of the TB Gold test:
Healthcare Provider: Different healthcare providers may charge different prices for the TB Gold test. Prices can vary based on the laboratory or clinic where the test is performed.
Location: The cost of medical services, including diagnostic tests, can vary by geographical location. Prices may be higher in specific regions or countries due to differences in healthcare systems, infrastructure, and overhead expenses.
Insurance Coverage: The availability and extent of insurance coverage can impact the cost of the TB Gold test. Some insurance plans may cover the full or partial cost of the test, while others may require copays or deductibles. It is essential to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage.
Additional Services: Additional services or consultations, such as specialist interpretation or follow-up appointments, may increase the overall cost of the TB Gold test.
Discounts and Negotiations: Some healthcare providers or laboratories may offer discounts or negotiate prices for specific tests, including the TB Gold test. It can be beneficial to inquire about discounts or negotiate prices, especially for individuals without insurance coverage.
Testing Volume: The volume of TB Gold tests conducted by a particular facility can impact the pricing. Higher testing volumes may result in lower per-test costs as economies of scale come into play.
TB Gold Test
₹ 1500 to ₹ 3000
In conclusion, the TB Gold test serves as a valuable tool in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) infection. With its high specificity and sensitivity, it offers several advantages over traditional diagnostic methods. The test plays a vital role in tuberculosis diagnosis, contributing to the early detection and management of the disease.
Our experts at HexaHealth can help you get top-notch consultation and a smooth TB Gold test procedure. We provide you with dedicated medical support, helping you navigate through the initial challenges around the test procedure. Speak to our professionals today and learn more!
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FAQs for TB Gold Test
What is the TB Gold test, and where can I get it done?
The TB Gold test is a blood test used to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB). It can be performed at various diagnostic centres, clinics, or healthcare facilities.
What is the average TB gold test price?
The average price of the TB Gold test can vary depending on the location and healthcare provider but usually ranges between Rs 1500 to Rs 2500. It is recommended to check with local healthcare facilities or laboratories for specific pricing information.
What is the TB Gold test normal range, and what does it indicate?
The Quantiferon TB Gold Test provides a normal range of 1 mcg/L to 10 mcg/L.
Results falling within this range, like 9 to 10 mcg/L, are considered normal and align with expected values.
The upper limit of 10 mcg/L and the lower limit of 1 mcg/L play a crucial role in interpreting the test results accurately.
The normal range for the test is typically determined by the laboratory conducting the test.
How is the TB Gold test performed?
The TB Gold test, also known as an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA), is performed in the following steps:
A healthcare professional draws a blood sample from the patient's vein, usually in the arm.
The blood sample is sent to a laboratory where it undergoes analysis.
The laboratory tests the blood sample to measure the immune cells in response to TB antigens.
The test results are generated. You can discuss the findings with the doctor for appropriate guidance or further testing if necessary.
How to read TB gold test reports?
TB Gold test reports typically indicate whether the result is positive, negative, or indeterminate. This helps you know the presence of infection in the lungs.
What does a positive TB Gold test result mean?
A positive TB Gold test result indicates that an individual has been infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. It suggests the presence of an immune response to TB antigens, indicating either latent TB infection (LTBI) or active TB disease.
What if the TB Gold test is positive?
If the TB Gold test is positive, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider who specialises in infectious diseases or tuberculosis. They will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the appropriate treatment plan based on the individual's condition and medical history.
What is the Quantiferon TB Gold test price?
The price of the Quantiferon TB Gold test may vary depending on the healthcare provider and location. It is advisable to check with local healthcare facilities or laboratories for specific pricing details. The average cost often falls between ₹ 1500 to ₹ 2500.
What are the common symptoms of tuberculosis (TB)?
The common symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) include:
Fatigue and Weakness
Fever and Chills'
Shortness of Breath
Swollen Lymph Node
What is TB gold test positive treatment?
The treatment for a positive TB Gold test result depends on the specific condition identified. Treatment options may include:
Antibiotics: Adherence to the prescribed medication regimen is crucial for successful treatment.
It is essential to take the medications as directed by the healthcare provider and complete the entire course of treatment.
Infection Control Measures: During treatment, it is important to follow infection control measures, such as covering the mouth while coughing or sneezing, to prevent the spread of TB bacteria to others.
Regular Monitoring: Individuals undergoing TB treatment may require regular monitoring, including follow-up appointments and periodic tests to evaluate treatment response and ensure effectiveness.
Is the Gold standard test for TB reliable?
The TB Gold test is considered a reliable and accurate diagnostic tool for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, like any medical test, it is not 100% foolproof and may have limitations in certain cases.
How accurate is the TB Gold test?
The TB Gold test is known for its high accuracy in diagnosing tuberculosis. It has shown sensitivity and specificity comparable to other diagnostic methods, making it a valuable tool in tuberculosis detection.
Can any medications or medical conditions affect a TB Gold test?
Certain medications, such as immunosuppressants, and medical conditions can weaken the immune system. It may affect the results of a TB Gold test. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any medications or medical conditions you have before undergoing the test.
Who performs the TB Gold test?
The TB Gold test is typically performed by healthcare professionals, such as nurses, phlebotomists, or trained laboratory technicians, who are experienced in collecting blood samples and handling diagnostic tests.
How long does it take to get the results of a TB Gold test?
The results of a TB Gold test are usually available within a few days, although the exact time may vary depending on the laboratory and healthcare facility where the test is conducted. It is advisable to consult with the healthcare provider or laboratory for specific information on result turnaround time.
What should I do if my TB Gold test comes back positive?
If your TB Gold test comes back positive, it is crucial to follow up with a healthcare provider specialising in tuberculosis or infectious diseases. They will conduct further evaluations, such as chest X-rays and clinical assessments, to determine the appropriate course of action for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Can a TB Gold test differentiate between active and latent TB?
The TB Gold test cannot differentiate between active tuberculosis disease and latent tuberculosis infection. Additional medical evaluations, such as chest X-rays and clinical assessments, are required to distinguish between the two conditions.
What is the difference between a TB skin test and a TB Gold test?
The difference between a TB skin test and a TB Gold test (interferon-gamma release assay) includes:
TB Skin Test: The TB skin test involves injecting a small amount of purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin into the skin.
Immune Response: It measures the delayed-type hypersensitivity response to the injected tuberculin, causing a visible reaction on the skin.
Reading the Results: The test requires a healthcare professional to examine the skin reaction within 48 to 72 hours after administration.
False Positives: Certain factors like previous BCG vaccination or exposure to non-tuberculosis mycobacteria can cause false-positive results.
TB Gold Test:
Method: The TB Gold test is a blood test that measures the release of interferon-gamma by immune cells in response to TB antigens.
Immune Response: It detects the presence of TB infection by assessing the immune response at a cellular level.
Reading the Results: The results are obtained through laboratory analysis and are not subject to subjective interpretation like the TB skin test.
Specificity: The TB Gold test has higher specificity compared to the TB skin test, reducing the likelihood of false-positive results due to BCG vaccination or exposure to non-tuberculosis mycobacteria.
Should I consult my healthcare provider before getting a TB Gold test?
It is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before getting a TB Gold test. They can assess your medical history, symptoms, and potential exposure to tuberculosis to determine if the test is necessary and appropriate for your situation.
Do I need to make any special preparations before getting a TB Gold test?
In most cases, no special preparations are required before getting a TB Gold test. However, it is always helpful to follow any instructions provided by your healthcare providers or the testing facility, such as fasting requirements or medication restrictions, if any.
Can a TB Gold test be used to monitor the effectiveness of TB treatment?
The TB Gold test is primarily used for diagnosing tuberculosis and is not typically used to monitor the effectiveness of TB treatment. Monitoring treatment progress usually involves other diagnostic methods, such as sputum culture and chest X-rays, which can assess the response to treatment.
How does the TB Gold test compare to other TB diagnostic tests?
The TB Gold test (interferon-gamma release assay) has several advantages over other TB diagnostic tests:
Specificity: The TB Gold test has higher specificity compared to the TB skin test, reducing the likelihood of false-positive results..
Single-Patient Visit: It requires only one patient visit as it involves a blood draw, while other tests may involve multiple visits or procedures.
No Cross-Reactivity: Unlike the TB skin test, the TB Gold test does not cross-react with the BCG vaccine.
Quicker Results: The TB Gold test provides results within 24 to 48 hours, allowing for prompt diagnosis and timely initiation of treatment.
In how much time will I get the TB Gold test report?
The time to receive the TB Gold test report may vary depending on the laboratory and healthcare facility where the test is conducted. Generally, it takes a few days to receive the results, but the exact turnaround time should be confirmed with the healthcare provider or testing facility.
Suggest Quantiferon TB Gold test result interpretation.
The interpretation of Quantiferon TB Gold test results typically follows these guidelines:
Positive Result: A positive result indicates that the individual has been infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria.
Negative Result: A negative result suggests the absence of TB infection. However, it does not completely rule out the possibility of recent infection or early stages of TB.
Indeterminate Result: An indeterminate result occurs when the test does not provide a conclusive outcome. It may happen due to technical issues, an insufficient immune response, or other factors.
What is TB Gold Plus test?
TB Gold Plus is an updated version of the TB Gold test that incorporates additional antigens. It expands the test's coverage and potential sensitivity. It is designed to enhance the detection of latent tuberculosis infection and improve the accuracy of the test results.
Myths vs Facts of TB Gold Test
Myth: TB Gold test can diagnose active tuberculosis (TB) disease.
Fact: The TB Gold test is not designed to diagnose active TB disease. Instead, it is used to detect the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These bacteria cause TB in individuals with latent TB infection. Additional diagnostic evaluations, such as chest X-rays and sputum tests, are necessary to diagnose active TB disease.
Myth: TB Gold test is 100% accurate.
Fact: While the TB Gold test is particular and sensitive, no medical test is 100% accurate. False-positive and false-negative results can occur. Therefore, clinical judgement and consideration of other factors are crucial in interpreting the results of the TB Gold test.
Myth: TB Gold test can replace the tuberculin skin test (TST).
Fact: The TB Gold test is an alternative to the TST but cannot completely replace it. Both tests have their advantages and limitations. The choice between the two is based on various factors, including patient characteristics, test availability, and healthcare provider preference.
Myth: BCG vaccination affects the accuracy of the TB Gold test.
Fact: The TB Gold test is not affected by prior BCG vaccination. It provides more reliable results in individuals who have received the BCG vaccine.
Myth: The TB Gold test is invasive and requires multiple visits.
Fact: The TB Gold test is a simple blood test that requires only one time patient visit. It is less invasive than the TST, which involves an injection under the skin and eliminates the need for a follow-up visit for result interpretation.
All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.
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- Santos-Longhurst A. Types of Tuberculosis [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2019.
- Fact Sheets [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019.
- TB Gold Test | IGRA Test Price and Process | Upto 50% Off | HOD [Internet]. HOD | House Of Diagnostics. [cited 2023 Jul 27].
- 6 myths about tuberculosis [Internet]. www.medicalnewstoday.com. 2021.
- Physiopedia. Lung Anatomy [Internet]. Physiopedia. 2011.
- Quantiferon TB Gold Price - Home Collection, Book Online | Max Lab [Internet]. www.maxlab.co.in. [cited 2023 Jul 27].
- QuantiFERON US [Internet]. Quantiferon.com. 2013.
- Quantiferon TB Gold Test - About, Preparation, Test Results & More [Internet]. www.portea.com. [cited 2023 Jul 27].
- Quantiferon TB Gold Test Result Interpretation [Internet]. www.e7health.com. [cited 2023 Jul 27].
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