What is Mantoux Test

Mantoux test is a skin test which is done to know whether the patient is infected with tuberculosis or not. It is a 2 step skin test in which liquid tuberculin is injected with needles between the layers of the skin usually on the forearm. It is also known as tuberculin sensitivity test, PPD test (Purified Protein Derivative). After this, the patient’s arm is examined after 48-72 hours. The people with tuberculosis will have positive result of this test. The indication of positive result is swelling and redness that is also called induration on the area where the liquid was injected. Try to keep that area clean. If you get blisters around that area don’t break them. However, you can do your routine works as usual but try not to touch the area where the liquid has been injected as it may affect the result. The swollen area and not the redness are then measured. If the swelling measured are 5 or more than 5 millimeters than it is said to be a positive result. If there is no induration and it is measured as 0 mm then it is considered as a negative reaction. But it is not necessary that all the positive results indicate that the person has tuberculosis. This test can also result in false negative reaction which means that the result comes to be positive for those patients who are not suffering from tuberculosis. It can happen in cases where:

Wrong technique is used The patient has measles The patient has recently given a BCG vaccine If he/she is infected with nontuberculosis mycobacteria

After this test, a person will have to go for an X-ray of chest and if it will also be positive then it would be assured that the patient has tuberculosis and he needs to be treated. The patient may or may not have to go for other tests like blood test, sputum test etc. The doctor will provide the patient with the medication usually antibiotic medications to kill the bacteria that causes tuberculosis in the body. Mantoux test is completely safe and the blister that appears after injecting the liquid in the skin soon disappears. It is very important to detect TB as early as possible in order to start its treatment as TB is a contagious disease and can be life threatening too if not treated at the right time.

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