To verify among tuberculosis (TB) suspects attending hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria, if sputum smears graded as scanty are false-positive, sputum smears from 1068 patients were graded with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease classification. One specimen was cultured. Eight hundred and twenty-four (26%) smears were positive, 137 (4%) scanty and 2243 negative. Of 1068 cultures, 680 (64%) were positive. One hundred and thirty (95%) scanty and 809 (98%) positive smears were culture-positive. Twelve of 18 patients with a single scanty smear and 51 of 52 with 2 scanty smears were culture-positive. Fewer than
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (2005) 9 (8) 933-935
Comparison of scanty AFB smears against culture in an area with high HIV prevalence.