Thorax 50:672-674 doi:10.1136/thx.50.6.672
  • Research Article

Use of adenosine deaminase as a diagnostic tool for tuberculous pleurisy.

  1. L J Burgess,
  2. F J Maritz,
  3. I Le Roux,
  4. J J Taljaard
  1. Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa.


      BACKGROUND--A statistical audit of adenosine deaminase (ADA) in pleural effusions was undertaken. METHODS--ADA analysis, cytological and microbiological examinations, and differential cell counts were performed on 462 pleural fluid samples. RESULTS--ADA activity in tuberculous effusions was higher than in any other diagnostic group. At a level of 50 U/l the sensitivity and specificity for the identification of tuberculosis was 90% and 89%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS--ADA activity remains a useful test in the evaluation of pleural effusions.