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The Pediatric Forum
June 2000

The Case for Not Omitting Evaluation of Culture Findings for Diagnosing Tinea Capitis

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(6):638. doi:

In reply

The purpose of my study was to investigate whether attention to clinical findings in children with suspected tinea capitis leads to greater diagnostic precision. The results suggest that there are particular clinical characteristics that predict cultures positive for fungus, so that in certain children with suspected tinea capitis, further confirmatory testing may be unnecessary.

Friedlander and colleagues expressed concerns about the composition of the study population. It was intentionally constructed to exclude children with conditions that might have confounded the findings. Therefore, children with seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or impetiginous scalp lesions, for instance, were not studied and no conclusions were made about them. I inadvertently omitted the fact that 2 qualified children were not enrolled because their parents were not present to provide consent.