QuantiFERON Gold Test

Useful information about the QuantiFERON Gold Test

What is the QuantiFERON Gold test?

QuantiFERON Gold is a type of blood test that is used to diagnose tuberculosis (primarily latent, or inactive tuberculosis). It was approved by the FDA in 2001 to help detect latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections.

How does the QuantiFERON Gold test work?

QuantiFERON Gold is a type of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay, or IGRA, test. These tests help check for the presence of a response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Why do people get the QuantiFERON Gold test?

Many people test positive for tuberculosis on the standard medical skin test. Unfortunately, there is a high rate of false positives, usually because of prior vaccination with the Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine administered for tuberculosis protection. Until the advent of blood tests like QuantiFERON Gold, people with a positive TB skin test who needed TB clearance would be required to get a chest x-ray (often annually).

What are other advantages to the QuantiFERON Gold test?

The QuantiFERON Gold test only requires a single visit whereas a PPD, also known as a TB skin test, requires 2 visits (placement and read). Results are often available as soon as 24 hours after the blood draw.

What are disadvantages of a QuantiFERON Gold test?

The QuantiFERON Gold test requires a blood draw. Also, the blood has to be handled in a special way or else the test has to be repeated. Finally, acceptance of this test is not fully mainstream yet which limits its usefulness in all compliance settings (although this will change over time).

Do I need to prepare in any special way for a QuantiFERON Gold test?

No, and fasting is not required.

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