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Diagnostic accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF assay for musculoskeletal tuberculosis: a meta-analysis

Authors Wen H, Li P, Ma H, Lv G

Received 8 July 2017

Accepted for publication 31 August 2017

Published 28 September 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 299—305


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eric Nulens

Hai Wen, Pengzhi Li, Hong Ma, Guohua Lv

Department of Spine Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, People’s Republic of China

Objectives: Xpert MTB/RIF assay, a rapid and automated real-time nucleic acid amplification test, has been reported for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal tuberculosis (TB) in current years. This meta-analysis aims to determine the diagnostic accuracy of Xpert for the detection of musculoskeletal TB and rifampicin (RIF) resistance.
Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang for original articles published up to 1st June 2017 to identify studies in which the Xpert assay was applied to diagnose musculoskeletal TB. Pooled estimates were calculated using a random-effects model or a fixed-effects model according to heterogeneity. Summary receiver operating characteristic curves and the area under the curve (AUC) were used to summarize overall diagnostic performance. Deeks’ test was performed to evaluate potential publication bias.
Results: Twelve studies were identified with a pooled sensitivity and specificity of respectively 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78–0.83) and 0.83 (95% CI 0.80–0.86) of Xpert for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal TB. Xpert was highly sensitive (0.89, 95% CI 0.79–0.95) and highly specific (0.96, 95% CI 0.92–0.98) in detecting RIF resistance. AUC (over 0.9) suggested a relatively high level of overall diagnostic accuracy of Xpert for detecting musculoskeletal TB and RIF resistance. Prevalence and reference standard were indicated to be sources of heterogeneity between studies. No publication bias was found.
Conclusion: This study provides available evidence of the rapid and effective role of Xpert in diagnosing musculoskeletal TB and detecting RIF resistance.

Keywords: Xpert, diagnostic accuracy, musculoskeletal tuberculosis, meta-analysis, rifampicin resistance

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