Interpreting borderline belpt results

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BackgroundThe beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) identifies persons sensitized to beryllium (BeS) and thus at risk for chronic beryllium disease (CBD). BeLPT test results are abnormal (AB), borderline (BL), or normal (NL). This manuscript addresses the predictive value and interpretation of BL BeLPT results.MethodsThe various three-result combinations that meet or exceed a nominal referral criteria of 1 AB + 1 BL are assessed with probability modeling and compared.ResultsAt 2% prevalence, the three-result combinations that meet or exceed this referral criteria and associated probabilities of BeS are: (a) 1 AB + 1 BL + 1 NL (72%); (b) 3 BL (91%); (c) 2 AB + 1 NL (95%); (d) 1 AB + 2 BL (99%); (e) 2 AB + 1 BL (100%); and (f) 3 AB (100%).ConclusionThese results suggest that BL results are meaningful and that three BL results predict BeS across a broad range of population prevalences. An analysis of longitudinal BeLPT results and clinical findings from an actual surveillance program is warranted to confirm the model's predictions. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:205-209, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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