Diagnostic value of Tzanck smear in herpetic and non-herpetic vesicular and bullous skin disorders in pediatric practice
A P Oranje, E Folkers, J Choufoer-Habova, J N Duivenvoorden
The diagnostic value of the Tzanck smear was investigated in 76 patients of a pediatric hospital population suffering from vesicular, erosive or bullous skin disorders. Examination took place by two investigators together (AB), besides the smears were examined by two others (C and D) double blind. Sensitivity for patients with clinical herpetic infections was greater than 80%, specificity for those without herpetic infections was greater than 90%. These figures are higher than expected from literature. Reliability was also high; between the three investigators no significant differences were found. The Tzanck smear is simple, inexpensive, easy to perform and rapid; it does not require a specialized laboratory, but experience and correct technique of sampling is required.