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Int J Dermatol. 2012 Aug;51(8):935-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05222.x.

A comparison of the contrast stains, Chicago blue, chlorazole black, and Parker ink, for the rapid diagnosis of skin and nail infections.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Concord Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. evanthia.tambosis@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The cheapest, most rapid method for the diagnosis of mycotic skin and nail infections is direct examination of samples using a KOH preparation. The standard KOH wet mount lacks a color contrast. Various contrast dyes are available. Parker ink is one which has been extensively used, however in recent times the stain no longer provides a suitable color contrast. Two other dyes that are available are Chicago blue and chlorazole black.

METHODS:

100 samples of skin or nails were prospectively examined using Chicago blue, chlorazole black, and Parker ink-KOH stains. The samples were also cultured, with culture being the diagnostic gold standard.

RESULTS:

The sensitivities and specificities of the Chicago blue, chlorazole black and Parker ink stains were 78% & 96%; 63% & 97%; and 48% and 96%, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

The Chicago blue-KOH stain provides a good color contrast and is a suitable replacement for the Parker ink-KOH stain. It is suitable for use in the dermatologist's office or in the laboratory.

© 2012 The International Society of Dermatology.

PMID:
22788809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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