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April 1, 1974

Chest X-ray Screening For Tuberculosis

Author Affiliations

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University New York

JAMA. 1974;228(1):24. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230260018004

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Asher J. Finkel, in answering a question (226:799, 1973), stated that "a base-line chest x-ray film examination is a reasonable entrance requirement" for college admission.Dr. Finkel indicated that the chest x-ray examination is not the most efficient method of screening for pulmonary tuberculosis, but failed to advocate a tuberculin test, the most efficient way of screening for tuberculosis. In the face of a negative tuberculin skin test in a healthy young person, a chest x-ray examination would be not only inefficient but unnecessary.The value of a chest x-ray examination in screening healthy young people prior to allowing participation in extramural or intramural athletic programs is unproven. Since youngsters participate in these programs throughout their education, Dr. Finkel's suggestion could be extended throughout the school years, resulting in repeated unnecessary x-ray examinations. Dr. Finkel indicated that it is possible to take chest x-ray films without