Published in Medical Letter on the CDC and FDA, May 8th, 2005
"The definitive diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) relies on identifying or culturing Mycobacterium tuberculosis from respiratory specimens. National guidelines have recommended obtaining 3 sputum specimens from patients with suspected tuberculosis, but there has been little data on the number of specimens actually needed to support a diagnosis.
"We retrospectively reviewed all patients diagnosed with PTB at a public inner-city hospital and assessed the sensitivity of the acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear and the number of smears needed to establish the...
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