PATRICK R. MURRAY, Ph.D.; CARLENE ELMORE; DONALD J. KROGSTAD, M.D.
Microscopic examination of mycobacterial specimens can rapidly provide clinically useful information without the prolonged delay inherent in culture procedures. However, the reliability of the acid-fast stain is controversial (1-5). In 1975, Boyd and Marr (1) retrospectively reviewed the experience with acid-fast stains at this hospital and reported that 55% of positive results of smears were false positive.
Beginning in 1976, we prospectively examined the stain and culture procedures in the Barnes Hospital mycobacteriology laboratory. The results of this analysis, which form the basis of this report, indicate that the acid-fast stain can be a sensitive, specific, and highly predictive test
MURRAY PR, ELMORE C, KROGSTAD DJ. The Acid-Fast Stain: A Specific and Predictive Test for Mycobacterial Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;92:512–513. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-92-4-512
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(4):512-513.
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