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March 29, 1976

Diagnostic Standards of Tuberculosis—Revised

Author Affiliations

University of Michigan Medical Center Ann Arbor
From the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1976;235(13):1329-1330. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260390015017

THE NEW "Diagnostic Standards and Classification of Tuberculosis and other Mycobacterial Diseases"1 represents a major departure from previous classifications that evolved on the basis of scientific advances over the last 100 years. It reflects the results of more than two decades of experience with chemotherapy, which now can cure a very serious disease that formerly carried a lifelong threat of exacerbation and a mortality exceeding that of many cancers.

The new classification is based on the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. It is applicable to all in whom the diagnosis of tuberculosis is or should be considered. Characteristics have been selected that (1) assure an accurate diagnosis (ideally the identification of tubercle bacilli), (2) coincide with the appropriate medical response, whether it be no response, preventive therapy, or chemotherapy, (3) correlate best with prognosis, (4) contain necessary information for public health action, and (5) provide a uniform, functional, and practical means