Article Text

Original Article
Diagnostic accuracy of interleukin 27 for tuberculous pleural effusion: two prospective studies and one meta-analysis
  1. Wen Wang1,
  2. Qiong Zhou2,
  3. Kan Zhai1,
  4. Yao Wang1,
  5. Jing-Yuan Liu2,
  6. Xiao-Juan Wang1,
  7. Zhen Wang1,
  8. Jian-Chu Zhang2,
  9. Zhao-Hui Tong1,
  10. Huan-Zhong Shi1
  1. 1 Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Beijing Institute of Respiratory Medicine and Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  2. 2 Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Huan-Zhong Shi, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, 8 Gongti Nanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China; shihuanzhong{at}


Background Accurate differentiating diagnosis is essential for choosing treatment for exudative pleural effusions.

Objective To establish the diagnostic accuracy of interleukin 27 for tuberculous pleural effusion (TPE).

Methods First, the concentrations of pleural interleukin 27, interferon-gamma and adenosine deaminase were compared between 51 patients with TPE and 103 with non-TPEs (Beijing cohort), and their diagnostic values were evaluated. These were further verified in another independent population (Wuhan cohort, n=120). In the second part of the study, we performed a meta-analysis.

Results With a cut-off value of 591.4 ng/L in the Beijing cohort, the area under the curve, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of interleukin 27 to diagnose TPE were 0.983 (95% CI 0.947 to 0.997), 96.1% (86.5% to 99.5%), 99.0% (94.7% to 100%), 98.0 (89.4 to 99.9) and 98.1 (93.3 to 99.8), respectively. Excellent diagnostic accuracy of interleukin 27 was also found in the Wuhan cohort and was further confirmed in the meta-analysis. The diagnostic performance of interleukin 27 was comparable to that of interferon-gamma and was more accurate than that of adenosine deaminase. Since the post-test probability of a negative result was always <0.1%, a negative test was considered to exclude TPE in all tuberculosis prevalence settings.

Conclusions Interleukin 27 can be used to diagnose TPE in a high prevalence setting, and a negative result can also be reliably used to rule out TPE in all prevalence settings.

  • adenosine deaminase
  • interferon-γ
  • interleukin 27
  • tuberculous pleurisy

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  • WW and QZ contributed equally.

  • Contributors H-ZS conceived the study and critically revised the manuscript. WW, QZ, KZ, YW and J-YL recruited and assessed the patients, and preprocessed the study specimens. X-JW and ZW were responsible for statistical analysis. J-CZ and Z-HT performed the meta-analysis. WW and QZ interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the subsequent drafts and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported in part by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31470883, No. 91442109, No. 81270149 and No. 81470274), in part by the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals’ Mission Plan (No. SML20150301), and in part by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology for the establishment of GCP evaluation system in respiratory diseases (2014ZX09303302).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional review board for human studies of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital; and institutional review board for human studies of Wuhan Union Hospital, China.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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