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January 1971


Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology School of Medicine Department of Medicine University of California Los Angeles 90024

Arch Dermatol. 1971;103(1):110. doi:10.1001/archderm.1971.04000130109025

To the Editor.—  We agree that the indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) technique does require more standardization before a high degree of correlation, in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and reproduceability, can be expected between the various laboratories performing the test. Biological testing systems are notoriously fraught with these problems. They are still of a major concern, even in the STS (serologic test for syphilis) test which Dr. Beutner states is a reliable test and similar problems have plagued the basophil degranulation test and the FTA-ABS (fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption) test.Any interpretation of the results of reading immunofluorescence is subjective and will remain so until some objective means of rating becomes available. Our "house rules" also demand that two investigators read each slide and report independently on the findings. In addition to the difficulties inherent in a biological test dependent on subjective interpretation, the choice of the substrate in the IIF technique

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