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Article
January 24, 1931

THE RÔLE OF THE POSITIVE WASSERMANN REACTION IN GYNECOLOGIC SURGERY

JAMA. 1931;96(4):261-266. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720300031007
Abstract

The employment of the term "positive Wassermann reaction" in the title of this paper rather than the use of the word "syphilis" requires an explanation. While syphilitic infection is entirely possible in the presence of a negative Wassermann reaction, and while in certain instances a positive reaction is obtained in persons exhibiting other conditions, it is generally true that positive serologic observations, when reported by a competent laboratory, usually indicate the presence of syphilis in some form. In the routine study of patients admitted to a specialized surgical service, it is frequently the sole indication of such an infection, for often the history and physical examination, particularly in women, are hot sufficiently suggestive. Accordingly, for the purposes of this study, it was thought best to base our observations on the result of Wassermann reactions of all degrees, for in this manner the percentage of error established by "missed" cases would

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