OBJECTIVE: It is challenging to differentiate mediastinal lymph node enlargement caused by tuberculosis (TB) and sarcoidosis as both diseases may cause granulomatous inflammation. The objective of this study is to evaluate the use of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR) as possible markers in the differential diagnosis of Stage I sarcoidosis and TB lymphadenopathy in patients who present with mediastinal lymph nodes and no parenchymal involvement.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 19 TB, 55 sarcoidosis, and 32 control patients, whose clinical records were available, were included in this retrospective study. All patients had a granulomatous reaction revealed on their lymph node biopsy specimen. The complete blood count at the time of diagnosis was included in the study.
RESULTS: NLR and PLR were both significantly increased in Stage 1 sarcoidosis patients compared to controls while only PLR was significantly increased in the TB group (for sarcoidosis, NLR P < 0.001 and PLR P < 0.001; for TB, NLR P = 0.12; PLR P = 0.017). There were neither significant differences in serum NLR nor PLR between sarcoidosis and TB groups.
CONCLUSION: Although NLR and PLR are useful tools to differentiate Stage 1 sarcoidosis from controls and PLR may be used to differentiate TB lymphadenopathy from controls, these parameters may not be used to differentiate between Stage 1 sarcoidosis and TB lymphadenopathy.