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February 6, 1978

Tuberculin Skin Testing-Reply

Author Affiliations

General Hospital Los Angeles

JAMA. 1978;239(6):496. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280330031010

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We agree with Dr Rodney that control skin tests should always be done to exclude anergy in cases of tuberculosis. In our study, the skin testing was done by various house officers; controls were placed only on occasion.

The theme of our communication was to emphasize the fact that clinical impression is paramount and that a negative skin test should not deter the physician from pursuing more aggressive techniques such as transtracheal aspiration and even transthoracic lung biopsy on occasion when indicated. We still place our faith on ocular proof of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by smear and later confirmed by culture.