Recently interest in a cutaneous test for syphilis has been renewed. Favorable reports have been made by several investigators, including Müller and Brandt,1 Planner,2 Kolmer and Tufts,3 Dujardin and Wiser,4 Arzt and Fuhs,5 and Fessler,6 all of whom used an organic extract prepared from the testicles of syphilitic rabbits. Gandy7 recently reviewed the literature on the luetin test and reported encouraging results with organic luetin in a series of 204 patients.
Probably the first attempt to develop a cutaneous test for syphilis was made by Tarnowsky.8 In 1877, he improvised a test which consisted of the application of a caustic paste to the skin. His idea of producing a syphilitic phenomenon through irritation of the skin was based on the supposition that in syphilitic patients lesions of syphilis are much more apt to develop in areas that have undergone trauma.
AMBLER JV. DIAGNOSTIC VALUE OF THE ORGANIC LUETIN REACTION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1933;28(3):353–362. doi:10.1001/archderm.1933.01460030047003
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