Tuberc Respir Dis.  2007 Jul;63(1):17-23. 10.4046/trd.2007.63.1.17.

Diagnostic Value of ADA Multiplied by Lymphocyte to Neutrophil Ratio in Tuberculous Pleurisy

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chung Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND: Many diagnostic approaches for defining the definitive cause of pleurisy should be included due to the large variety of diseases resulting in pleural effusion. Although ADA is a useful diagnostic tool for making a differential diagnosis of pleural effusion, particularly for tuberculous pleural effusion, a definitive diagnostic cut-off value remains problematic in Korea. It was hypothesized that ADA multiplied by the Lymphocyte/Neutrophil ratio(L/N ratio) might be more powerful for making a differential diagnosis of pleural effusion.
One hundred and ninety patients, who underwent thoracentesis and treatment in Chung-Ang University Hospital from January, 2005 through to February 2006, were evaluated. The clinical characteristics, radiologic data and the examination of the pleural effusion were analyzed retrospectively.
1. Among the 190 patients, 59 patients (31.1%) were diagnosed with tuberculous pleurisy, 45 patients(23.7%) with parapneumonic effusion, 42 patients(22.1%) with malignant effusions, 36 patients(18.9%) with transudate, and 8 patients(4.2%) with empyema. One hundred and twenty one patients were found to have an ADA activity of 1 to 39 IU/L(63.7%). Twenty-nine were found to have an ADA activity of 40 to 75 IU/L(15.3%) and 40 were found to have an ADA activity of 75 IU/L or greater(21.0%). 2. Among the patients with tuberculous pleurisy, 5(8%), 18(30%) and 36 patients(60%) had an ADA activity ranging from 1 to 39 IU/L, 40 to 75 IU/L, and 75 IU/L or greater, respectively. In those with an ADA activitiy 40 to 75 IU/L, 18 patients(62%) had tuberculous pleurisy, 9(31%) had parapneumonic effusion and empyema, and 1(3.4%) had a malignant effusion. 3. In those with an ADA activity of 40 to 75 IU/L, there was no significant difference between tuberculous pleurisy and non-tuberculous pleural effusion(tuberculous pleurisy : 61.3 +/- 9.2 IU/L, non-tuberculous pleural effusion : 53.3+/-10.5 IU/L). 4. The mean L/N ratio of those with tuberculous pleurisy was 39.1 +/- 44.6, which was significantly higher than non- tuberculous pleural effusion patients (p<0.05). The mean ADA x L/N ratio of the tuberculous pleurisy patients was 2,445.7 +/- 2,818.5, which was significantly higher than the non-tuberculous pleural effusion patients (level p<0.05).5. ROC analysis showed that the ADA x L/N ratio had a higher diagnostic value than the ADA alone in the group with an ADA between 40-75 IU/L.
The ADA multiplied by the lymphocyte-to-neutrophil ratio might provide a more definitive diagnosis of tuberculous pleurisy.


ADA; Lymphocyte-to-Neutrophil Ratio; Tuberculous Pleurisy
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