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Article
August 1922

THE CLINICAL EVALUATION OF THE WASSERMANN REACTION

Author Affiliations

Director, Laboratories, Pittsburgh and McKeesport Hospital; Serologist, Providence Hospital PITTSBURGH

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1922;6(2):147-162. doi:10.1001/archderm.1922.02360020020003
Abstract

In the sixteen years which have elapsed since the introduction of the Wassermann reaction as a diagnostic aid in syphilis the procedure has undergone the common fate of all innovations in medical science. The first disposition to accept the test more or less blindly with unquestioning faith as a pathognomonic indication of syphilitic infection has been followed by a critical and even hypercritical survey of its possibilities and limitations, until now, as has been pointed out by Strickler,1 the medical profession may be divided, according to its attitude, into three groups: (1) those who place absolute dependence on the Wassermann reaction as a means of diagnosis; (2) those who consider it as a gross test the findings of which must be considered and correlated with the clinical findings, and (3) those who consider the test so liable to error as to be entirely unreliable.

In view of this lack

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