Document Detail

The validity of acid-fast smears in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1699506     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The acid-fast smear remains an important tool in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Some reports have questioned the validity of this stain in situations of low prevalence. We examined the relationship between prevalence and predictive value of sputum smears in one laboratory during periods of both low and high laboratory prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Smears were examined by fluorescence and confirmed by Kinyoun stain. The number of samples positive for mycobacteria increased from 128 (4.3%) of 2956 during the 1975 through 1978 study period to 197 (8.4%) of 2347 during the 1979 through 1982 study period. Of 47 positive smears during the first study period, only one was a false-positive. None of 96 positive smears during the second period was a false-positive. The positive predictive value of acid-fast microscopy was 97.9% and 100% for the two periods examined. We have demonstrated in practice the small effect of a shift in prevalence on the positive predictive value of an acid-fast smear when specificity is maintained.
F Gordin; G Slutkin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine     Volume:  114     ISSN:  0003-9985     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med.     Publication Date:  1990 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1990-11-16     Completed Date:  1990-11-16     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7607091     Medline TA:  Arch Pathol Lab Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1025-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Medical Service, San Francisco (Calif) General Hospital.
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MeSH Terms
Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
Predictive Value of Tests
Sputum / microbiology
Staining and Labeling*
Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*,  microbiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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