The enthusiasm with which cutaneous tests for diagnostic purposes have been incorporated into clinical practice is a striking tribute to the uncritical frame of mind in which we are prone to receive what promises to present the golden combination of simplicity and usefulness. Few better illustrations of this ready acceptance of the plausible as gospel could be found than the reception accorded the luetin reaction.
Before Sherrick1 noted the effect of iodids on the reaction, the literature was flooded with favorable, but now almost worthless reports, from a large percentage of which it is impossible to determine what controls were used and in which controls were even admittedly dispensed with. Here and there more critical observers called attention to the uncertainties of the reaction, and to the behavior of some of the control suspensions distributed with authentic Noguchi preparations of luetin. My own interest in the specificity of the
STOKES JH. A "LUETIN" REACTION IN SYPHILIS PRODUCED BY AGAR: WITH A BRIEF CONSIDERATION OF ITS MECHANISM. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(15):1092–1095. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270040080007
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