Procedure, Side Effects & Cost of Mantoux Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The Mantoux test is used as a diagnostic tool to determine whether an individual is suffering from the condition of tuberculosis or not. Tuberculosis is a common disease that affects people in developing countries all around the world. Tuberculosis may also be present in other parts of the world. The Mantoux test is used to determine if the individual is exposed to tuberculosis or not.

What Is a Mantoux Test?

The Mantoux test is a skin based test. The mantoux test procedure involves injecting some tuberculin infection into the layers of the skin. This injection is made in such a way that it only reaches below the top layers of skin and not deeper within the body. The subject is then allowed to return home and continue with a normal life. The area must not be washed and must be kept dry. Following this, the patient will have to report in two days to the doctor. The doctor will then take the Mantoux test reading.

The Mantoux test reading is taken by measuring the size of the swelling that has occurred on the skin. The swelling size must be measured only as the size of the lump and not as the size of the lump plus the redness that occurs to its sides. The Mantoux test results are then determined based on various risk factor criteria that apply to the patient. The Mantoux test interpretation is based on these criteria. This makes the test prone to false positives.

Side Effects and Cost

The Mantoux test cost depends on the location where the individual is performing the test. When we speak of the Mantoux test for children, it is similar to that which is performed for adults. The test is conducted when an individual has some symptoms of tuberculosis or when he or she has returned from a location where tuberculosis is highly prevalent. This means that the individual will be at high risk of developing tuberculosis due to exposure to the virus. Thus, the Mantoux test is conducted to determine the nature of the risk faced by the individual. Due to its nature of developing false positives, the Mantoux test is not completely reliable. However, it is better for an individual to get treatment if he or she is not infected rather than not receive treatment when there is some sort of minor condition in the body. The Mantoux test is conducted on an outpatient basis. Preparation for the test as well as the possible mantoux test side effects that could take place should be discussed with your doctor well in advance.