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August 1938


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;38(2):217-224. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480140057007

The diagnosis of syphilis in the seronegative stage, with its great importance to the patient, is dependent entirely on finding the causative organism in the primary lesion. At present the dark field method is the only one in general use, but most interested workers in the field admit that its use is not widespread enough. Stokes1 stated: "Identification of the Spirocheta pallida in secretions and tissues has sustained a regrettable delay in popularization in part through the intrinsic difficulty and inconvenience of the methods which we are obliged to employ." In order to determine if possible how many average practitioners employed the dark field in diagnosis of early syphilis, several years ago one of us (S. O. C.) sent a questionnaire to one hundred physicians, with the following interesting result: Although this is a small series, nevertheless it should give a fair indication of the practice in a metropolitan