Role of GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay for Diagnosis of Tuberculous Mastitis

  • Jayashri Pandya
  • Ajeet Ramamani TiwariEmail author
  • Varun Thareja
Original Article


The role of GeneXpert MTB/RIF (GX) in tuberculous (TB) mastitis is not defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of GX in the diagnostic evaluation of TB mastitis. Patients presenting with signs and symptoms of breast abscess, previously drained breast abscess that did not heal, and recurrent breast abscesses were included in the study. GX (cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test), FNAC, abscess wall scrapings for histopathology, pus for culture and sensitivity, chest X-ray, serum adenosine deaminase (ADA), and ESR levels were performed in all patients. Female patients (n = 228) were enrolled in the study between August 2013 and December 2017. A total of 26 (11.4%) patients were diagnosed with TB mastitis using multiple clinical/biochemical/histopathological parameters. GX was positive for Mycobacterium TB (MTB) in 22 patients whereas FNAC and combined ADA+ESR (ADA > 23.5, ESR > 25) were suggestive of TB mastitis in 6 and 18 patients respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for GX test, FNAC, and combined ADA+ESR were 83.3%, 99%, 90.9%, 98.1%, 16.7%, 99.0%, 66.7%, 91%, 66.7%, 99%, 88.9%, and 96.2% respectively. Our study concludes that GX is an important tool with moderate sensitivity (83.3%) and high specificity (99%) for detection of TB mastitis. It should be considered in all suspicious cases of TB mastitis where patients fail to respond to conventional treatment of breast abscess. However, it cannot be used alone and other clinical and complementary laboratory parameters (ADA, ESR) should be used in the diagnostic pathway.


Tuberculous mastitis GeneXpert Breast abscess Adenosine deaminase ESR 



We would like to thank Dr. Durgesh Sahoo for his help with statistical analysis for the study.

Author Contribution

All authors of this research paper have directly participated in the conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data. All authors of this paper have read and approved the final version submitted.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the ethics committee of B.Y.L. Nair Charitable Hospital and written informed consent was obtained from all the enrolled patients.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Surgeons of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayashri Pandya
    • 1
  • Ajeet Ramamani Tiwari
    • 2
    Email author
  • Varun Thareja
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryBai Yamunabai Laxman Nair Charitable HospitalMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Surgical OncologyKidwai Cancer InstituteBengaluruIndia

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