It has long ago been observed that the diameter of tuberculin skin response might be affected by a low dietary protein intake (Kardjito et al. Tubercle 1981;62: 31-35). In the present study we tried to investigate the possible relationship between intensity of tuberculin skin reaction and serum albumin levels in patients with active tuberculosis.
We studied 42 patients (35 males and 7 females) aged 33.04 years (mean, 15.7 years (SD) all with established active pulmonary TB just before initiation of treatment by recording the tuberculin skin reaction (using 5TU of PPD RT23) and measuring their serum albumin levels. All patients had no evidence of any condition affecting serum albumin levels or immunological disorder.
The diameter of skin induration was 17.8 mm (mean), 6.01 mm (SD) and the mean serum albumin levels were 7.27 gr/dl(mean), 0.86 gr/dl (SD). Analysis showed a statistically significant positive correlation between intensity of tuberculin skin reaction and serum albumin levels (R=0.528, p<0.001).
The intensity of tuberculin skin response seems to be influenced by the levels of albumin in serum.
Factors affecting serum albumin concentration should be taken into account on interpreting the results of tuberculin skin testing.
Stylianos Michaelides, None.