Tuberc Respir Dis.  2014 Jun;76(6):261-268.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection due to Initiation of Anti-TNF Therapy

  • 1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are increasingly being treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents and are at increased risk of developing tuberculosis (TB). Therefore, diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI) is recommended in these patients due to the initiation of anti-TNF therapy. Traditionally, LTBI has been diagnosed on the basis of clinical factors and a tuberculin skin test. Recently, interferon-gamma releasing assays (IGRAs) that can detect TB infection have become available. Considering the high-risk of developing TB in patients on anti-TNF therapy, the use of both a tuberculin skin test and an IGRA should be considered to detect and treat LTBI in patients with IMIDs. The traditional LTBI treatment regimen consisted of isoniazid monotherapy for 9 months. However, shorter regimens such as 4 months of rifampicin or 3 months of isoniazid/rifampicin are increasingly being used to improve treatment completion rates. In this review, the screening methods for diagnosing latent and active TB before anti-TNF therapy in patients with IMIDs will be briefly described, as well as the current LTBI treatment regimens, the recommendations for managing TB that develops during anti-TNF therapy, the necessity of regular monitoring to detect new TB infection, and the re-initiation of anti-TNF therapy in patients who develop TB.


Latent Tuberculosis; Tuberculin Test; Interferon-gamma Release Tests; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
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