PPD skin test - Risks
Purified protein derivative standard; TB skin test; Tuberculin skin test; Mantoux test
What the risks are:
There is a very small risk of severe redness and swelling of the arm in people who have had a previous positive PPD test and who have the test again. There also have been a few cases of this reaction in people who have not been tested before.
A positive skin test does not necessarily mean that a person has active TB. More tests must be done to check whether there is active disease.
Many people who were born outside the United States may have had a vaccine called "BCG," which can lead to a false-positive test result. However, most experts say that a past BCG vaccination should not change the PPD result when the test is done in people with an increased risk of TB infection or disease.
- Reviewed last on: 12/7/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, PhD, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Fitzgerald DW, Sterling TR, Haas DW. Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolan R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Orlando, FL: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 250.
Iseman MD. Tuberculosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 345.
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