RICHARD A. BORDOW, M.D.
To the editor: In their paper, "Decreasing Reliability of Acid-Fast Smear Techniques for Detection of Tuberculosis," (1) Drs. Boyd and Marr have identified a significant problem in evaluating microscopy findings in the management of suspected pulmonary tuberculosis. However, in the analysis of their data, I believe they have failed to identify an even more practical problem and failed to support their recommendations with relevant data.
The larger group (78%) of microscopy-negative and culture-positive specimens portends a serious epidemiologic problem (2). This problem is not a new one and many questions need to be answered about these false-negatives (3, 4, 5).
BORDOW RA. Detection of Tuberculosis: Acid-Fast Smear Method. Ann Intern Med. ;83:584–585. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-83-4-584
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(4):584-585.
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