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Article
August 23, 1958

NEGATIVE REAGIN TESTS IN MARITAL PARTNER OF PATIENT WITH SECONDARY SYPHILIS: THIRD INDICATION FOR TREPONEMA PALLIDUM IMMOBILIZATION TEST

Author Affiliations

Boston

Director, Division of Venereal Diseases, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Lecturer in Dermatology and Syphilology, Tufts University School of Medicine; Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine; Instructor in Epidemiology, Harvard University School of Public Health; Assistant Clinical Dermatologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Visiting Physician, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals (Dr. Fiumara) and Chief, South Medical Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital; Instructor in Dermatology, Harvard Medical School (Dr. Hill).

JAMA. 1958;167(17):2067-2069. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.72990340003006a
Abstract

In a previous issue of The Journal1 we said that heretofore there were two indications for the treponema pallidum immobilization (TPI) test but that to these should be added a third. We recommended this test in the following situations: (1) to help distinguish between the biologically falsepositive and true-positive blood test for syphilis; (2) to assist in establishing a diagnosis of syphilis in patients who have clinical evidence of the disease, particularly in late syphilis, but who have negative blood and spinal fluid serologic tests; and (3) to assist in the diagnosis of syphilis in a patient with epidemiologic evidence of the disease but with negative clinical and serologic findings.

As illustrative of the third indication, a case was presented wherein an 8-year-old boy, examined by us in 1955 because of a positive reaction to the Hinton test, proved on clinical examination to have congenital syphilis. However, his mother

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