Background: Biologic treatment for moderate to severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) places patients at risk for infectious complications. Tuberculosis (TB) infection and reactivation can lead to serious morbidity and mortality for immunosuppressed patients. As a result, guidelines recommend screening for TB before starting biologic treatment, but a paucity of data remains on the utility of surveillance testing. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review at a single academic center evaluating both IBD and non-IBD patients on biologic therapy. The primary outcome was to determine the number of subsequent surveillance tests performed after initial screening for latent TB in both patient groups. Results: A total of 188 patients (147 IBD and 41 non-IBD patients) on biologic therapy were included. Screening for TB before biologic treatment was performed in 56% of non-IBD patients versus 83% for patients with IBD (P = 0.0003). Of the total cohort, 65% had at least 2 follow-up surveillance tests for TB. Three or more surveillance tests were performed in 40% of patients with IBD versus only 13% for non-IBD patients (P = 0.0132). A total of 7 patients (4%) had an abnormal surveillance test. No patients were confirmed to have a diagnosis of TB or underwent treatment. Conclusions: Patients on biologic therapy unnecessarily undergo surveillance testing for TB. Patients with IBD on biologic therapy are screened annually for TB at a higher rate compared to non-IBD patients. Standardization of care among patients on biologic therapy is necessary to avoid excessive testing in areas with a low incidence of TB.
- inflammatory bowel disease
- interferon-gamma release assay
- QuantiFERON-TB Gold
- tuberculin skin test
ASJC Scopus subject areas