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Clinical diagnosis of vaginitis was moderately accurate in symptomatic women

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STUDY QUESTION

In women with vulvovaginal symptoms, how accurate is a clinical diagnosis of vaginitis?

STUDY DESIGN

Design:

blinded comparison of clinical diagnosis with DNA probe analysis.

Setting:

4 US military medical clinics.

Patients:

535 women 18–50 years of age (mean age 26 y) who presented with vulvovaginal symptoms (51% with abnormal discharge, 33% with itching/irritation, 10% with malodour, and 4% with vulvar burning). Women who were menstruating or had had coitus in <24 hours were excluded.

Description of test:

standard clinical diagnosis by a nurse practitioner consisting of history; physical examination; and pH determination, amines (whiff) test, and wet-prep microscopy of vaginal secretions.

Diagnostic standard:

DNA probe analysis on vaginal secretions for Gardnerella vaginalis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and candida species.

Outcomes:

sensitivity, …

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