Background: The interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) is a novel method for detecting previous sensitization to tuberculosis (TB). Despite having several advantages over the tuberculin skin test (TST), including higher specificity and no influence from past bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) exposure, there are a limited number of reports describing its application in patients with erythema induratum (EI)/nodular vasculitis (NV), which is usually but not always related to TB. Objectives: The aim of our case series was to evaluate the usefulness of the IGRA for determining a TB association in patients with EI/NV. Methods: Retrospective chart reviews were conducted on four patients diagnosed with EI/NV at our institution in whom an IGRA had been performed. Results: All four subjects had positive TST results. The IGRA was also positive and therefore supported a link with TB in two cases. One patient responded completely to anti-TB therapy, whereas the second was lost to follow-up. Both cases unrelated to TB, by virtue of negative IGRAs, demonstrated complete response to immunosuppressive therapy (methotrexate), with one individual having failed anti-TB therapy first. Conclusion: Our case series highlights the utility of the IGRA for establishing a TB association in patients with EI/NV. Although limited by a small sample size, we propose adjunctive use of this test at the time of EI/NV diagnosis, especially in the setting of previous BCG exposure, so that management can be tailored according to whether an underlying relationship with TB exists.
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