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April 27, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(17):1437. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520430049007

It is an unfortunate fact that the manner in which tuberculin first came into use led to a revulsion of feeling against it on the part of many physicians. Once introduced, and if it had not been that Koch's hand was forced its introduction doubtless would have been delayed, it was hailed with acclamation and used without discrimination, with the natural result that its good features were overshadowed by the resulting catastrophes. Notwithstanding the manner in which the majority of physicians have since held aloof from it, many of the lung specialists have used it continuously for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Its value in diagnosis can be readily understood when it is stated that from 50 to 80 per cent, of the patients who enter the German sanatoria for pulmonary tuberculosis have no tubercle bacilli in their sputum. Many of them have very slight physical signs of tuberculosis, and

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