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Old 12-12-2007, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,468,035 times
Reputation: 4284

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To make a very long story short, I had a PPD done several years ago. It was in the military, and to be quite honest I'm a little leery of the diagnosis. After three days the 'bump' had gone completely away and there was just a slight little red mark. I wouldn't even call it a rash. The doctor told me that I had tested positive and gave me 9 months worth of pills to take. She told me that I shouldn't have another TB test done because it could cause the bacteria to 'activate'. Now, the thing that gets me, is when I was leaving Japan (where I was stationed) I had married a Japanese woman and part of our green card paperwork was to get a TB test done on her as well. In Japan, they still gave the TB vaccination when she was born ( I think they still do) and she had this giant bump on her arm. I saw another guy walk in with his Japanese wife and apparently they had gotten the same thing and her 'bump' was just about the same size as my wife's. I really started to wonder... would I have anything to worry about if I had never taken the meds? They really made me feel horrible.

Edit: I'm not sure if this matters or not, but about a year afterwards I was diagnosed with a mild exzema(sp?).
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:27 AM
 
7,100 posts, read 24,937,348 times
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Troop, for your own peace of mind, see your doctor and have an Xray done. A positive test only means that at sometime in your life, you were exposed to the TB virus and developed some antibodies to it. The original test caused some to develop, the repeat test caused these antibodies to react.

I wouldn't swear to it, but I think it's fairly common to have a reaction to the test. Back in the dim recesses of my mind, I seem to remember that everyone used to dread getting them as there was usually a bump. It was at one time required for a lot of things.

TB seems to be making a comeback as resistant strains have managed to develop.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:09 AM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,322,328 times
Reputation: 2355
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
To make a very long story short, I had a PPD done several years ago. It was in the military, and to be quite honest I'm a little leery of the diagnosis. After three days the 'bump' had gone completely away and there was just a slight little red mark. I wouldn't even call it a rash. The doctor told me that I had tested positive and gave me 9 months worth of pills to take. She told me that I shouldn't have another TB test done because it could cause the bacteria to 'activate'. Now, the thing that gets me, is when I was leaving Japan (where I was stationed) I had married a Japanese woman and part of our green card paperwork was to get a TB test done on her as well. In Japan, they still gave the TB vaccination when she was born ( I think they still do) and she had this giant bump on her arm. I saw another guy walk in with his Japanese wife and apparently they had gotten the same thing and her 'bump' was just about the same size as my wife's. I really started to wonder... would I have anything to worry about if I had never taken the meds? They really made me feel horrible.

Edit: I'm not sure if this matters or not, but about a year afterwards I was diagnosed with a mild exzema(sp?).
If your wife had BCG vaccination, she can't have the PPD; it is not accurate. Needs a chest film. In your case, not seeing the mark, I can only say we measure the amount of induration, that is, how big is the raised area. PPD results SHOULD BE recorded in mm - mine is 0mm - but often is not. What constitutes "negative" or "0mm" depends on your immune status, whether you are in an environment with active/potentially active TB, or 100% () healthy no risk. Personally, I don't accept "negative" as a result. It tells me nothing whereas a result of 4mm in a person with NO risk factors is OK, but is NOT so in an immuno-compromised (e.g., active HIV disease) person.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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The two people I've known who were told the TB test came positive were instructed to have a second test done, which came out differently, so it was a "false positive." They were pissed because it was a scary thing for them to go through. Where they worked had sort of dubious procedure for "reading" the test and they were pissed about that too.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,468,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
If your wife had BCG vaccination, she can't have the PPD; it is not accurate.
I'm pretty sure she did... the giant bump on her arm was a pretty good indication

Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
Needs a chest film.
Me or her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
In your case, not seeing the mark, I can only say we measure the amount of induration, that is, how big is the raised area. PPD results SHOULD BE recorded in mm - mine is 0mm - but often is not. What constitutes "negative" or "0mm" depends on your immune status, whether you are in an environment with active/potentially active TB, or 100% () healthy no risk. Personally, I don't accept "negative" as a result. It tells me nothing whereas a result of 4mm in a person with NO risk factors is OK, but is NOT so in an immuno-compromised (e.g., active HIV disease) person.
As I said, there was no raised area at all. There was a very small slightly reddish area (tad bit blotchy perhaps?) that was measured at 19mm if memory serves me correctly. As far as my environment was concerned, I had been in Asia/Japan for the last two years and was about to head back to the States.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 11,124,485 times
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There are several things that can make a TB skin test look positive without having TB...get a chest xray...that is still the difinative diagonostic tool...good luck
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:56 PM
Status: "Snow, snow, snow!" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
89,296 posts, read 105,865,179 times
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[quote=GCSTroop;2238070]I'm pretty sure she did... the giant bump on her arm was a pretty good indication [quote]

What mm_mary means is that your wife's PPD won't be accurate b/c she had the vaccine. Though recently, the "rules" about this have changed a bit and I can't quote them accurately, so I won't.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,468,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturningWest View Post
There are several things that can make a TB skin test look positive without having TB...get a chest xray...that is still the difinative diagonostic tool...good luck
Well the chest x-ray will only show if the TB has 'activated' correct? Not if I have been exposed to it, at least as far as I know. I'm hesitant to get a re-test done, because if I was positive to begin with I'm afraid of adding more fuel to the fire, so to speak.

On that note, I did have a chest x-ray done about a year ago for an unrelated issue. It came back clean, but I was wondering if you are supposed to drink that "glow juice" in order to have the tubercules show up??
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:21 AM
 
436 posts, read 653,239 times
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Visit your doctor's office and discuss having a test, or going for x-rays. No "glow juice" is required. THEN- make certain you re-appear for the reading of the results, at the prescribed time frame- very important.

Your doctor will measure the area around the test to determine your vulnerability to a positive test result.

A positive test result does not mean you have TB.

It means you have been subjected to the organism which can cause TB. If positive, you will most likely be sent for a chest exam (two views). Your physician will discuss the results with you, and determine if you see see an infectious disease specialist.

I have been positive for years, having been exposed in Portugal. I spent one year on IHM medication therapy as a preventative.

if you have a positive PPD, you do not take the test any more. If your job requires TB results, you will need to get the chest x-ray, usually every two years, or sooner if symptoms appear.

Needless to say, if you become symptomatic of TB disease, you should visit your physician immediately.

Please inform your physician of any medications you are taking at the time of the test.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,614 posts, read 22,141,510 times
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Eddiek is right..My daughter, a nurse, had a positive several years ago..Her arm was a mess..Her job does require annual ppd tests from which she is exempt and has the xray instead..
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