How Much Does a Quantiferon TB Gold Test Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

A Quantiferon TB Gold test, known as a QFT-G, is one of the IGRAs (Interferon Gamma Release Assays) and is approved by the FDA.

Known as a diagnostic tool for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), this TB blood test measures how the immune system responds to the bacteria that causes TB.

How much does a Quantiferon TB Gold test cost?

The cost of a Quantiferon TB Gold blood test in a laboratory setting will cost about $90 to $160 without a health insurance plan.  The costs will depend on the lab you choose and if health insurance is involved.

Accesalabs.com, for example, charges $149 for its test.

WalkinLab.com, another lab online, will charge $148.  The laboratory does note that a special collection kit will be required and may not be available at all LabCorp locations.  This special collection will contain three gel-barrier tubes.

Quantiferon TB Gold test overview

The QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test is an indirect test for the M. tuberculosis infection which is based upon the measurement of the cell-mediated immune reaction to antigens simulating the mycobacterial proteins CFP-10, ESAT-6, and TB7.7.  This combination of three mycobacterial proteins stimulates the patient’s T-cells in-vitro to release interferon-gamma, which then is measured using ELISA technology.  This test detects infections produced by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (including M. Bovis, M. tuberculosis and M. africanum infections).  The BCG strains and many other non-tuberculosis mycobacteria do not harbor ESAT-6, TB 7.7 and CFP-10 proteins; therefore, persons either vaccinated with BCG or even infected with most environmental mycobacteria ought to test negative.

The QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test is done by simply taking a small blood sample from the patient.  To do this, a nurse will sterilize the arm, insert a needle to extract a vial of blood, then bandage the arm to ensure that there is no bleeding.  The actual process of taking blood should only take about five minutes.

The test results can take seven to 10 days.

What are the extra costs?

If you were to go to your local doctor’s office and not a local lab via an online option, then you will need to factor in a doctor’s office visit fee.  This fee, which typically ranges from $50 to $100+ will greatly depend on your doctor’s office and whether or not you’re a new or existing patient.

Tips to know:

No fasting is required prior to the test.

A Quantiferon TB Gold test can be done on a limited basis via local medical laboratories and some walk-in clinics.  Even if you choose an online laboratory such as the ones mentioned earlier, you will still need to have your blood drawn at a local laboratory like Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp.

TB disease can be diagnosed by physical examination, medical history, chest x-ray, and/or other laboratory tests.  LTBI (Latent tuberculosis infection) is a non-communicable, asymptomatic condition which persists for several years in people and may progress to tuberculosis disease.  The key aim of diagnosing LTBI is to consider the medical treatment for preventing the active form of tuberculosis disease.

The QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test is not the only type of test that can give you the results for which you are looking.  For example, there was a study done comparing this test with another common one, the TST (tuberculin skin test).  The results showed that in control groups, the QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test detected more, but in non-control groups, TST detected more.  Also, when compared to the two tests, the QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test is much more expensive than the TST.  The conclusion of the findings was that “The QFT-G assay cost more but had a higher detection rate among most target groups and required less turnaround time than the TST. However, its sensitivity was lower among immunocompromised subjects. Therefore, the QFT-G assay should be used with caution for LBTI screening/diagnosis in resource-poor, high-HIV prevalence settings such as Trinidad & Tobago.”

How can I save money?

Currently, QFT-G may be covered under your medical insurance plan.  Talk with your insurance cover provider to find out whether this is the case.  If you are looking for a new health insurance policy, consider browsing through hundreds for free at eHealthInsurance.com.

Medical rebates are available only if the person is immune-suppressed.


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