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April 1957

Tuberculosis Case Finding in the Preschool Population

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and the Home Medical Service, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals.; Assistant Resident, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals; Assistant in Preventive Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (Dr. Coffman); Assistant Visiting Physician, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals; Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (Drs. Marra and Dreyfus).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(4):399-404. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040401008

The need for a practical method of tuberculosis case finding among children has long been felt. The photofluorogram, widely accepted for case finding among adults, has so far not proved applicable to children. Previous studies suggest that the tuberculin patch test (Vollmer) might be extremely valuable for this purpose.

Mortality statistics, morbidity reports, autopsy examinations, tuberculin tests, and x-ray surveys indicate that about one-half of all infected persons develop clinical tuberculosis and that from 10% to 20% of these eventually die of the disease.1 Myers2 followed 8-year-old children with positive tuberculin tests, along with a control group, for 14 years and found tuberculosis developing eight times as much in the positive reactors.

The present study was planned to investigate the usefulness to a general medical service agency of the tuberculin (Vollmer) patch test as a case finding device in an area where tuberculosis is highly endemic.

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