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Value of the Polymerase Chain Reaction Method for Detecting Tuberculosis in the Bronchial Tissue Involved by Anthracosis

Mirsadraee, Majid MD*; Shafahie, Ahmad MD; Reza Khakzad, Mohammad MSc‡,§; Sankian, Mojtaba PhD§

Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology: April 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 2 - p 131–134
doi: 10.1097/LBR.0000000000000063
Original Investigations

Background: Anthracofibrosis is the black discoloration of the bronchial mucosa with deformity and obstruction. Association of this disease with tuberculosis (TB) was approved. The objective of this study was to find the additional benefit of assessment of TB by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Methods: Bronchoscopy was performed on 103 subjects (54 anthracofibrosis and 49 control subjects) who required bronchoscopy for their pulmonary problems. According to bronchoscopic findings, participants were classified to anthracofibrosis and nonanthracotic groups. They were examined for TB with traditional methods such as direct smear (Ziehl-Neelsen staining), Löwenstein-Jensen culture, and histopathology and the new method “PCR” for Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome (IS6110).

Results: Age, sex, smoking, and clinical findings were not significantly different in the TB and the non-TB groups. Acid-fast bacilli could be detected by a direct smear in 12 (25%) of the anthracofibrosis subjects, and adding the results of culture and histopathology traditional tests indicated TB in 27 (31%) of the cases. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was diagnosed by PCR in 18 (33%) patients, but the difference was not significant. Detection of acid-fast bacilli in control nonanthracosis subjects was significantly lower (3, 6%), but PCR (20, 40%) and accumulation of results from all traditional methods (22, 44%) showed a nonsignificant difference.

Conclusions: The PCR method showed a result equal to traditional methods including accumulation of smear, culture, and histopathology.

*Department of Internal Medicine, 22 Bahman Hospital, Islamic Azad University—Mashhad Branch

Department of Immunology and Zakaria Research Center, Medical School of Islamic Azad University—Mashhad Branch

§Immunology Research Center, Buali Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad

Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

M.M.: designed the research/study, collected data, analyzed data, and wrote the paper; A.S.: collected data and wrote the paper; M.R.K.: performed the research/study and contributed important reagents; M.S.: performed the research/study and contributed important reagents.

This research was conducted in Zakaria Research Center under the supervision and financial support of the deputy of research of the Islamic Azad University, Mashhad branch.

Disclosure: There is no conflict of interest or other disclosures.

Reprints: Majid Mirsadraee, MD, No 80, 15th Kosar, Kosar Ave., Vakilabad Blvd, Mashhad, 91786, Iran (e-mails:;

Received October 23, 2013

Accepted February 18, 2014

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.