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Owing to its precision, the diagnostic aid given by a microscopic examination for tubercle bacilli of the properly stained sputum has made this procedure very popular. The only difficulty lies in the fact that, by the old methods of examination, we may sometimes unconsciously select a portion of the sputum that contains no tubercle bacilli, if the entire specimen contains but few.
To eliminate this source of error, I have of late been using with much satisfaction the method advocated by Biedert, employing in addition the centrifugal machine. Where possible, I secure all the sputum raised in twenty-four hours, and add some potassium hydrate solution; this, with the aid of heat, dissolves any lumps that may be present and after a time the mixture becomes quite thin. It is then diluted with water so as to lower the specific gravity, and introduced into a large centrifugal machine. The latter is
HUDSON WG. THE CENTRIFUGAL MACHINE IN SPUTUM EXAMINATIONS. JAMA. 1895;XXIV(6):196–197. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430060014001d
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