There is no reaction which one may apply to rheumatic subjects comparable to the tuberculin or Wassermann reactions. If such a test could be found, it might help in eliminating many of the pitfalls and difficulties in the differential diagnosis of the rheumatic diseases.
Mester described a test which he believed had a high specificity for "rheumatism." This consists in the injection of 1.0 cc. of 0.1 per cent salicylic acid in sterile water in five wheals of 0.2 cc. each into the flexor surface of the forearm in a fasting, resting subject. The latter precautions were taken because any change of posture or physiologic activity may produce a rise in the basal count of 60 to 100 per cent.1
The white blood cell count is determined prior to the injection and thirty minutes later. A positive test—i. e. denoting rheumatic infection—consists of a
Woods JW, Comroe BI. THE MESTER (SALICYLIC ACID) TEST FOR RHEUMATIC DISEASES. JAMA. 1945;127(10):582–583. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.92860100001007
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