Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) appears to be prevalent among psoriasis patients, a recent study found. Therefore, screening for LTBI in patients on biologics may reduce risk of active tuberculosis; however, current methods may not be fully effective. Clinicians may need to use other tools, including risk factor assessment, to fully evaluate risk. A total of 138 subjects were included in a retrospective study of patients treated from September 2004 to September 2017. Tuberculin skin test was considered positive with an induration of >5 mm. History of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination, follow-up tests, and prophylaxis were recorded. Researchers found:
- Among 99 biologic-naïve patients, 14 had LTBI before starting biologic therapy and 5 developed LTBI during TNF inhibitor therapy.
- One biologic-naïve patient developed LTBI, then active tuberculosis.
- Among 39 non-biologic-naïve patients, 3 had LTBI before starting any biologic therapy, and 1 developed LTBI during treatment.
Lee EB, Amin M, Man J, Egeberg A, Wu JJ. Rates of latent tuberculosis infection in patients treated with TNF inhibitors for psoriasis: A retrospective chart review. J Dermatolog Treat. 2018;29(7):671-675. doi:10.1080/09546634.2018.1443198.