Screening and treatment of latent tuberculosis among patients receiving biologic agents, a national and international survey of rheumatologists

Nhu Quynh Tran, Melinda Garcia-Rosell, Debendra Pattanaik, Syed Hasan Raza, Laura Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to understand the current practice patterns of both US and international members of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in this regard. Methods: A set of questionnaires developed by a focus group of faculties and fellows of the Rheumatology Division of University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN,was sent electronically using an online survey tool to 4433 rheumatologists who are ACR members in the United States and internationally. Results: Seven hundred sixty-eight physicians out of 4433 ACR members responded to the electronic survey, with a response rate of 17.32%. The preferred screening method by most of the respondents was either tuberculin skin test (19%) or interferon Φ release assay (32%) or both. For treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) overall, 49% of the respondents would refer management to infectious disease specialist or the health department, 37% would initiate isoniazid for 9 or 12 months, and 14% would use isoniazid for 6 months. Approximately 60% of respondents would initiate anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy after being on LTBI treatment for 1 month. The other respondents were almost equally divided among the 3 responses: 2, 3, 6, or 9 months. Conclusions: There is a large disagreement regarding the method used and howoften to screen for LTBI after initiating biologic therapy and how soon biologic treatment would be started after initiating LTBI therapy. Another disagreement exists regarding the duration of LTBI therapy. The information obtained from the survey can be taken into account when ACR or other international member organizations formulate future recommendations regarding screening and treatment of LTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Anti-TNF-α treatment
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (biologic)
  • Latent tuberculosis (LTBI)
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Screening and treatment of latent tuberculosis among patients receiving biologic agents, a national and international survey of rheumatologists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this