JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Accuracy of routine diagnostic tests used in paracoccidioidomycosis patients at a university hospital.

The identification of appropriate laboratory measures to confirm clinical hypotheses is important in routine paracoccidioidomycosis medical care. The clinical records and laboratory reports of 401 paracoccidioidomycosis patients attended at the Tropical Diseases Area, Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, from 1974 to 2008 were reviewed. Direct mycological (DM), cell block (CB), histopathological (HP), and double immunodiffusion (DID) tests were evaluated before treatment. Typical Paracoccidioides brasiliensis yeast forms were observed in clinical specimens of 86% of the patients, but 14% were detected only by serological test. DM of 51 different tissue specimens produced 74.5% sensitivity, and 62.5% sensitivity was observed in 112 sputum samples. CB in 483 sputum samples generated 55.3% sensitivity. HP performed in 239 samples from different tissues revealed 96.7% sensitivity. Serology carried out in 351 patients and 200 healthy controls provided 90.0% sensitivity, 100.0% specificity, 100.0% positive predictive value, 85.1% negative predictive value and 93.6% accuracy. Comparisons of laboratory measurements performed in the same patient showed that sensitivity decreases from HP to DID to CB and DM, with the last two assays providing similar sensitivities. This study demonstrated that P. brasiliensis identification by HP, CB, and/or DM associated with DID is sufficient to establish the laboratorial diagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis in practically all cases.

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