On the other hand, a negative test does not always mean that a person is free of tuberculosis. People who have been infected with TB may not have a positive skin test (known as a false negative result) if their immune function is compromised by chronic medical conditions, cancer chemotherapy , or AIDS . Additionally, 10%-25% of people with newly diagnosed tuberculosis of the lungs will also have a negative result, possibly due to poor immune function, poor nutrition , accompanying viral infection, or steroid therapy. Over 50% of patients with widespread, disseminated TB (spread throughout the body, known as miliary TB) will also have a negative TB test.
At follow-up from three to 18 months, steroids reduce deaths by almost one quarter ( RR , 95% CI to ; nine trials, 1337 participants, high quality evidence ). Disabling neurological deficit is not common in survivors, and steroids may have little or no effect on this outcome ( RR , 95% CI to ; eight trials, 1314 participants, low quality evidence ). There was no difference between groups in the incidence of adverse events, which included gastrointestinal bleeding, invasive bacterial infections, hyperglycaemia , and liver dysfunction.