The chest X-ray is the final step in the tuberculosis (TB) testing process. Before an X-ray can be performed, an individual must first test positive for TB via a PPD skin test or QuantiFERON test. A chest X-ray is then used in order to make the final determination of whether or not active tuberculosis is present in an individual.
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In most cases, employees with positive tuberculosis test results will not be able to return to work until they have been cleared by a chest X-ray that demonstrates they do not have active tuberculosis. It is recommended that employees with a positive tuberculosis test result be scheduled for a chest X-ray as soon as possible after their tuberculosis test results return as positive.
Chest X-rays are simple procedures that merely involve getting an X-ray taken of the chest from multiple angles. A clinician will then look at the results to determine if the lungs show signs of advanced pulmonary tuberculosis, which is the active and contagious form of tuberculosis. Chest X-rays serve as suitable evidence that an employee is tuberculosis free even if initial PPD skin tests or QuantiFERON examinations have said otherwise.