The tuberculosis control program is based on a felt need–oriented basis. The diagnosis is mainly microbiological. However, sputum smear-negative Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) cases with suspected radiological findings can be problematic in diagnosis.
To confirm the diagnosis of tuberculosis early, in smear-negative AFB cases by using a Fiberoptic Bronchoscope.
Materials and Methods:
We embarked on Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy (FOB) and Spot Scopy smear Microscopy (SSM) for 533 suspected Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PT) cases (sputum smear negative and radiologically suggestive) from February 2007 to May 2010. FOB was performed using a special device, a Trans Oro Pharyngeal Spacer (TOPS), as a conduit.
The yield for positivity for AFB was 341 (64%) out of 533 cases.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
The specimens collected by using the fiberoptic bronchoscope confirmed the disease in the smear-negative cases. Hence, FOB was recommended in smear-negative cases, to avoid delay in the treatment of tuberculosis.