According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TB (Tuberculosis) surveillance data reported that 9029 new cases of TB were diagnosed in 2018 in the United States. Although the number of cases reported is low, it remains important for people at higher risk of getting tuberculosis to get tested for TB screening at an earlier stage to completely eradicate TB. TB is a highly contagious disease. So we recommend everyone who suspects the possibility of being exposed to tuberculosis bacterium to get tested for quantiferon gold blood test immediately.
The article below covers all the significant topics related to TB gold blood tests such as Quantiferon gold test cost, who should get tested for quantiferon gold blood test, preparation, risks, and how to get tested for TB gold test.
- Quantiferon TB gold test cost.
- What is a Quantiferon TB gold test?
- What is a Tuberculosis (TB)?
- Forms of TB.
- Symptoms of TB.
- How to treat Tuberculosis?
- What are the complications of tuberculosis if left untreated?
- Who is recommended for the TB gold test?
- How is the TB gold test done?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Are there any risks in the test?
- What does the test result mean?
- How to prevent Tuberculosis?
- Provider Locations.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the TB gold test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the quantiferon gold test cost?
Quantiferon Gold test cost ranges between $199 and $208 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the Quantiferon TB gold test cost at 2 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
Quantiferon gold test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of TB gold blood test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan before getting tested for TB.
Our quantiferon TB gold testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is a Quantiferon TB gold test?
TB gold is also known as “QuantiFERON TB gold”. It is a simple blood test done to diagnose the presence of tuberculosis bacterium in the body. QuantiFERON (QFT) is an Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) used to detect the TB bacterium. It measures the response of a person’s immune system with the help of a certain substance called gamma interferon. This substance is released by the white blood cells in a blood sample when they are exposed to specific TB antigens.
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis commonly known as TB is a highly contagious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily attacks the lungs but can also spread to other body parts like the brain and spine. TB bacterium can spread through the air and a person infected with TB can easily transmit the bacterium to another person via sneezing, coughing, and speaking.
Forms of Tuberculosis
There are two forms of tuberculosis.
Active TB: This form of TB remains very active in the body, causing symptoms and transmitting the bacterium to other healthy persons.
Latent TB: This form of TB remains passive or inactive in the body. It is not contagious and does not cause any symptoms. But it can become active anytime
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
Active tuberculosis cause various symptoms that include
- Continuous coughing
- Coughing up blood
- Pain in the chest
- Pain during cough
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sweating in the night
Without proper treatment, TB bacterium can spread to other organs through the bloodstream. The symptoms differ depending on the organ infected with tuberculosis.
- Bones – pain in the spine and joint destruction
- Brain – meningitis (a condition causing inflammation of the meninges i.e. the three membranes that line the vertebral canal and the skull)
- Kidneys – blood in the urine
- Heart – cardiac tamponade (compression of the heart by an accumulation of fluid in the pericardial sac)
How to treat tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis can be treated with a combination of medications such as
- Ethambutol (Myambutol)
- Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
- Rifapentine (Priftin)
Sometimes, these medications can affect your liver showing symptoms such as dark urine, jaundice, and/or abdominal pain. Inform your physician when you start noticing these symptoms.
It is very important to complete the full treatment course. Otherwise, there are higher chances of the bacterium to come back.
What are the complications of tuberculosis if left untreated?
If left untreated at the earlier stage, tuberculosis can be fatal and can spread to other organs such as the brain, liver, kidney, and spine through the bloodstream. It can lead to spinal pain, damage in the joints, meningitis, heart problems, and liver and kidney disorders.
Who is recommended for the Quantiferon gold test?
People with the above-mentioned symptoms or people with the following risk factors are advised to get tested for quantiferon TB gold test.
- Weakened immune system
- HIV infection
- Chemotherapy treatment
- End-stage kidney disease
- Diabetic patients
- A positive result of the TB skin test
- Drug users
- Close contact with the TB infected person
- Traveling to regions where the TB rates are high
- Use of tobacco
How is the Quantiferon TB gold test done?
Quantiferon TB gold test is done using the blood sample.
During this test, a lab technician or a phlebotomist will cleanse the area to be injected with a disinfectant liquid and wrap an elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein visible and swell with blood. He/she then injects a needle to draw a sample of blood and collects the blood sample in a test tube. After the blood is drawn, he/she covers the injected area with a band-aid or a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The collected blood speciemen is then sent to the lab for further analysis.
It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to perform this test.
The ideal time to get tested for tuberculosis:
You can get tested for TB immediately when you suspect the possibility of exposure to TB bacterium or when you experience any of the TB symptoms. There is no window period or incubation period necessary to get tested for TB gold test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special preparation required before the TB gold blood test. There is no limitation on diet and you can carry on your regular activities. Inform the phlebotomist if you have any bleeding disorder before the test.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the quantiferon gold blood test. After the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise, or redness in the injected spot for a very little period.
What does the test result mean?
If your quantiferon TB gold test results are positive, it indicates that you are infected with TB. As this test does not tell whether the bacterium is active or latent, your physician might order additional tests to identify it.
If your results are negative, it indicates that you are not infected with any form of TB.
How to prevent tuberculosis?
The following measures can be taken to prevent tuberculosis.
- BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccines are used in some countries for children to prevent severe TB (but these vaccines are not recommended in the U.S. for general use).
- If you have active TB, wearing a mask, ventilating the room, and covering your mouth can lower the risk of transmission.
The TB gold blood test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the TB gold test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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