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Type: Journal article
Title: The clinical utility of the urine-based lateral flow lipoarabinomannan assay in HIV-infected adults in Myanmar: an observational study
Author: Thit, S.
Aung, N.
Htet, Z.
Boyd, M.
Saw, H.
Anstey, N.
Kyi, T.
Cooper, D.
Kyi, M.
Hanson, J.
Citation: BMC Medicine, 2017; 15(1):145-1-145-11
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1741-7015
Statement of
Swe Swe Thit, Ne Myo Aung, Zaw Win Htet, Mark A. Boyd, Htin Aung Saw, Nicholas M. Anstey, Tint Tint Kyi, David A. Cooper, Mar Mar Kyi and Josh Hanson
Abstract: Background: The use of the point-of-care lateral flow lipoarabinomannan (LF-LAM) test may expedite tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in HIV-positive patients. However, the test's clinical utility is poorly defined outside sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: The study enrolled consecutive HIV-positive adults at a tertiary referral hospital in Yangon, Myanmar. On enrolment, patients had a LF-LAM test performed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Clinicians managing the patients were unaware of the LF-LAM result, which was correlated with the patient's clinical course over the ensuing 6 months. Results: The study enrolled 54 inpatients and 463 outpatients between July 1 and December 31, 2015. On enrolment, the patients' median (interquartile range) CD4 T-cell count was 270 (128-443) cells/mm3. The baseline LF-LAM test was positive in 201/517 (39%). TB was confirmed microbiologically during follow-up in 54/517 (10%), with rifampicin resistance present in 8/54 (15%). In the study's resource-limited setting, extrapulmonary testing for TB was not possible, but after 6 months, 97/201 (48%) with a positive LF-LAM test on enrolment had neither died, required hospitalisation, received a TB diagnosis or received empirical anti-TB therapy, suggesting a high rate of false-positive results. Of the 97 false-positive tests, 89 (92%) were grade 1 positive, suggesting poor test specificity using this cut-off. Only 21/517 (4%) patients were inpatients with TB symptoms and a CD4 T-cell count of < 100 cells/mm3. Five (24%) of these 21 died, three of whom had a positive LF-LAM test on enrolment. However, all three received anti-TB therapy before death - two after diagnosis with Xpert MTB/RIF testing, while the other received empirical treatment. It is unlikely that knowledge of the baseline LF-LAM result would have averted any of the study's other 11 deaths; eight had a negative test, and of the three patients with a positive test, two received anti-TB therapy before death, while one died from laboratory-confirmed cryptococcal meningitis. The test was no better than a simple, clinical history excluding TB during follow-up (negative predictive value (95% confidence interval): 94% (91-97) vs. 94% (91-96)). Conclusions: The LF-LAM test had limited clinical utility in the management of HIV-positive patients in this Asian referral hospital setting.
Keywords: Human immunodeficiency virus; tuberculosis; diagnostic test; clinical management; Myanmar; lipoarabinomannan
Rights: © The Author(s). 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030074266
DOI: 10.1186/s12916-017-0888-3
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