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July 10, 1937

THE CLINICIAN AND THE SEROLOGIC TEST FOR SYPHILIS

JAMA. 1937;109(2):134-135. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780280040014

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Abstract

The results of the two studies of the American Committee on Evaluation of Serodiagnostic Tests for Syphilis suggest certain definite alterations in American medical practice. The proper person to interpret serologic results is not the serologist, who is usually not in contact with the patient. The clinician can fit laboratory data with history and physical appearances. The serologist can report only the objective result of a physicochemical test; the clinician must determine what that result means.

Every clinician who uses the serologic tests for syphilis should assure himself that (a) the laboratory employed is under the direction of a competently trained serologist; that (b) intralaboratory check of the accuracy of the test in common use is constantly maintained by the performance of another test of approximately equal specificity and sensitivity; e. g., a complement fixation test is checked by a flocculation test or vice versa, or a flocculation test checked

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