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June 1989

TSTB: A New Diagnostic Method in Dermatological Practice

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(6):858. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670180130032

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Tape stripping toluidine blue (TSTB) is a method used to obtain cytologic specimens from human skin by using tape and staining the specimen with toluidine blue. In this book, Dr Berardi describes the technique and what is seen under normal and pathologic conditions. The bulk of this book is spent describing the TSTB findings in most common dermatologic conditions. Conditions are listed in alphabetical order, and the findings obtained using TSTB are described and illustrated with photomicrographs. The author concludes that TSTB is a valuable, underutilized technique that should be a routine part of dermatologic practice.

In order to conclude that a test is useful, one should provide data regarding the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of the test. In addition, since many of the entities discussed (eg, cutaneous fungal infections and viral diseases) can currently be diagnosed by other, commonly used tests (such as potassium hydroxide preparations, cultures, and

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