Utility of gastric lavage for diagnosis of tuberculosis in patients who are unable to expectorate sputum
Background: There are number of patients who are unable to expectorate sputum specimens. In this study, we used gastric lavage (GL) test for diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in patients who were unable to produce sputum. Materials and Methods: Patients who were unable to produce sputum specimens were included in the study to confirm TB disease. Gastric lavage sampling was performed and sent for acid fast bacillus smear and culture under special laboratory conditions and sterilized methods. Further bronchoscopy for broncho-alveolar lavage was done on patients with negative GL smear results. Drug susceptibility tests were performed on 48 GL culture positive cases. Results: Eighty-five patients were included in the study; who were hospitalized at our referral center for suspected TB. GL smears were reported to be positive in 37 cases (66.07%) and culture in 85.7%. The total number of smear and culture-positive cases in this study was 48 (85.7%). Forty cases (87%) of drug-sensitive, 1 case (2.2%) of isoniazid and rifampin-resistant TB (multi-drug resistant; MDR), and 5 cases of resistant to one drug were detected. There have not been observed any complications after the GL method. Conclusion: It seems that regarding the high number of positive GL cultures (85.7%), GL can be effective for diagnosis of patients who have suspicious tuberculosis symptoms and are unable to produce sputum especially in resource limited areas.