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ARTICLE |

THE MARGIN OF ERROR IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF NEUROSYPHILIS OF THE PARETIC TYPE

IRA A. DARLING, M.D.
JAMA. 1918;70(21):1521-1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600210011005.
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The study of our errors may injure our vanity, but if honestly made and executed, it proves a healthy "mental catharsis" and materially aids our general understanding. In 1910, Southard1 reviewed forty-one cases of clinical neurosyphilis of the paretic type that had come to necropsy at the Danvers State Hospital, and found an error of 15 per cent. in those cases that the staff had unanimously considered to be general paralysis of the insane. At the same time, the necropsy reports in 186 cases in which this disease was not considered clinically were studied, and two of these were found, by the plasma cell criterion, to be general paralysis of the insane. The cases considered in Southard's paper were diagnosed before the general application of biologic tests, and it is my present purpose to determine whether this addition to our diagnostic technic has been beneficial, or whether it has

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