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January 1974

The Nitroblue Tetrazolium Test in Dermatologic Patients

Author Affiliations

Margaret Fountain; Cleveland

From the Division of Dermatology, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and Case-Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland.

Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(1):36-39. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630010016003

The unstimulated nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test for infection was studied in 139 patients with various dermatoses and in 100 healthy controls. Leukocytes from controls showed a mean NBT response of 6.3% ± 5.5%. In comparison to controls, patients with cutaneous infections had elevated NBT values, but no statistically significant difference (P=> .05) was found in the mean NBT values of patients with bacterial (37.9% ± 27.5%) and viral (32.5 ± 25%) dermatoses. Elevated NBT tests were found in patients with allergic vasculitis, erythema multiforme, and several other noninfectious dermatoses. The unstimulated NBT test is of limited value as a diagnostic aid for detecting infection in patients with dermatologic disorders.

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