My 2 year old recently had a TB skin test which was positive. He has a BCG vaccine. He had a chest x ray which came back clear but I've been told I need to put him on a 9 month course of antibiotics regardless of the chest x ray result. I'm very hesitant to put him on such a long course of antibiotics when I'm not 100% certain he really needs them. Is there another way to determine if he really has latent TB? I would like him to have a 2nd TB skin test in a few weeks to see if its positive again. I've heard that scratching or putting pressure on the site of the skin test can sometimes cause a false positive result and my son was prodding at his arm soon after the test was administered. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should do? I've read on line that there is a blood test for TB but there's some uncertainty about using it for kids. Does anyone know anything about this?
What you describe is a rather complex situation. The previous administration of BCG can cause false positivity of a tuberculin skin test. In addition, a second test could be increasingly positive because of the initial tuberculin test. There have been reliable studies of blood testing (interferon gamma release assays) in children that may allow medical personnel to distinguish between a legitimately positive skin test and a false positive.
The bottom line is that in the situation you describe, accurate interpretation of the skin test may be beyond the scope of many physicians. I suggest that you and your son’s doctor request a 2nd opinion from a physician, perhaps in the local Public Health Department, who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prophylactic treatment of suspected TB. Given that a 9 month period of drug therapy/prevention is being considered, you would be wise to seek an expert opinion.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.