April 1985

Consensus Statements

Author Affiliations

From the Mycobacterial Disease Service, National Jewish Hospital, Denver (Dr Iseman), and Denver Health and Hospitals, (Dr Sbarbaro). Reprints not available.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(4):630-631. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360040048010

In the best of all worlds, physicians would base their diagnostic and therapeutic judgments on secure, statistically significant data. Unfortunately, despite nearly a half century of modern scientific medicine, many topics remain obscure. The causes of this confusion are many, including the absence of studies, the existence of poorly designed studies, and an excessive number of variables that defy analysis in studies of practical scale or expense. Whatever the origins, there are a number of questions in the area of mycobacterial disease for which there are insufficient data to make "definitive" pronouncements. Nonetheless, practitioners are called upon regularly to make public health and clinical judgments in such situations. The document presented herein was prepared in full realization of the shortcomings of the data, with the intent of compiling wellinformed opinions on these controversial topics. The contributors have rendered their judgments, after reviewing the pertinent available information, knowing that time may

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