The bentonite flocculation test (BFT) is a modification of a serologic test used to detect Trichinella antibodies. Ingredients for the test are readily available from commercial sources. Stock preparations are stable for months. Equipment necessary for this test is available in the average clinical laboratory. Minimal technical skill is required for performance of the test and reading of results. One hour or less is required from receipt of the serum to completion of the test. Of 114 patients with verified rheumatoid arthritis, the test finding was positive in 85%. Disseminated lupus erythematosus and scleroderma contributed the next highest percentage of positive tests, 55% and 50 % respectively. In 58 patients with nonrheumatoid arthritis, the test finding was positive in 3 (5%). The BFT result is positive in about 10% of syphilitic as well as biological false-positive serums.
Bloch KJ, Bunim JJ. SIMPLE, RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS-BENTONITE FLOCCULATION TEST. JAMA. 1959;169(4):307–314. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000210001001
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