Comparison of Xpert MTB/RIF with AFB smear and AFB culture in suspected cases of paediatric tuberculosis in a tertiary care hospital, Karachi

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Women and Child Health


Objective: To evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative predictive values of Xpert mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to rifampicin by comparing it with acid-fast bacilli smear and culture in suspected tuberculosis patients.
Methods: The retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised patient data from January 2013 to December 2016. Data related to children with clinical suspicion of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis based on Modified Kenneth Jones criteria, aged 1 month to 18 years whose samples (respiratory or non-respiratory) were sent for Xpert mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to rifampicin and acid-fast bacilli smear and culture con currently. Analysis was carried out by STATA 12 and Med Calc softwares .
Results: Of the 91 cases, 50(54.9%) related to females. The overall median age of the patients was 12.5 years (interquartile range: 8 years). Overall, 42(46.2%) cases had extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. The Xpert test had 66.7% sensitivity compared to smear microscopy 47.6%. Overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 95.7%, 72%, 51.2% and 98.3% respectively when the two tests were compared.
Conclusions: Xpert mycobacterium tuberculosis was found to be more sensitive than acid-fast bacilli smear and culture in both pulmonary and extra-pulmonar y tuberculosis in children.


JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association