Diagnostic accuracy of tests for tuberculous pericarditis: A network meta-analysis

Document Type

Review Article


Medical College Pakistan; Ophthalmology


Tuberculous pericarditis (TBP) is a relatively uncommon but potentially fatal extrapulmonary manifestation of tuberculosis. Despite its severity, there is no universally accepted gold standard diagnostic test for TBP currently. The objective of this study is to compare the diagnostic accuracy of the most commonly used tests in terms of specificity, sensitivity, negative predictive value (NPV), and positive predictive value (PPV), and provide a summary of their diagnostic accuracies. A comprehensive literature review was performed using Scopus, MEDLINE, and Cochrane central register of controlled trials, encompassing studies published from start to April 2022. Studies that compared Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA), Xpert MTB/RIF, Adenosine Deaminase levels (ADA), and Smear Microscopy (SM) were included in the analysis. Bayesian random-effects model was used for statistical analysis and mean and standard deviation (SD) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the absolute risk (AR) and odds ratio (OR). Rank probability and heterogeneity were determined using risk difference and Cochran Q test, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity were evaluated using true negative, true positive, false positive, and false negative rates. Area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) was calculated for mean and standard error. A total of seven studies comprising 16 arms and 618 patients were included in the analysis. IGRA exhibited the highest mean (SD) sensitivity of 0.934 (0.049), with a high rank probability of 87.5% for being the best diagnostic test, and the AUROC was found to be 94.8 (0.36). On the other hand, SM demonstrated the highest mean (SD) specificity of 0.999 (0.011), with a rank probability of 99.5%, but a leave-one-out analysis excluding SM studies revealed that Xpert MTB/RIF ranked highest for specificity, with a mean (SD) of 0.962 (0.064). The diagnostic tests compared in our study exhibited similar high NPV, while ADA was found to have the lowest PPV among the evaluated methods. Further research, including comparative studies, should be conducted using a standardized cutoff value for both ADA levels and IGRA to mitigate the risk of threshold effect and minimize bias and heterogeneity in data analysis.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Indian Journal of Tuberculosis