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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 214--216

Utility of polymerase chain reaction as a diagnostic tool in cutaneous tuberculosis

1 Division of Dermatology and STD, RMMC&H; RMMC, Annamalai University. Annamalai Nagar - 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Division of Pathology, RMMC, Annamalai University. Annamalai Nagar-608002. Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
L Padmavathy
B3, RSA Complex, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608002. Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17642890

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Background: Differentiation of cutaneous tuberculosis from other infective granulomas of the skin is difficult due to paucity of the organisms in tissue biopsies. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a newer technique to identify the DNA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the tissues. Aim: We examined the utility of PCR as a tool for rapid diagnosis of cutaneous tuberculosis especially in cases negative by ZN staining and culture. Material and Methods: Twenty five random skin biopsies from patients with various types of cutaneous tuberculosis were subjected to PCR. Results: An overall positivity of 64% was observed, which is comparable to other series. Seventy five percent of lupus vulgaris cases, 62.2% of tuberculosis verrucosa cutis and 50% of scrofuloderma cases showed PCR positivity. Conclusion: Though useful, the cost and the technique involved limit the use of PCR in developing countries like ours.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow