Mycobacteria in stool specimens: the nonvalue of smears for predicting culture results.
A previous recommendation suggests that stool be cultured for mycobacteria only if the smear is positive. We have correlated smear and culture results of 2,176 stool specimens submitted for mycobacterial culture. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for smears to predict culture results are 34, 99, 90, and 87%, respectively. We recommend that the stool smear not be used as a screening technique to decide which specimens from at-risk patients should be cultured because it lacks the necessary sensitivity.
Morris, A; Reller, LB; Salfinger, M; Jackson, K; Sievers, A; Dwyer, B
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