John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of onychomycosis Volume 14, numéro 1, January-February 2004

Department of Dermatology Glhane Military Medical Faculty, School of Medicine Etlik, 06018 Ankara, Turkey *Department of Microbiology, Glhane Military Medical Faculty, School of Medicine, Etlik, 06018 Ankara, Turkey

Onychomycosis is a mycotic infection of the nail which accounts for 50% of all nail disorders. However, there is no predictably successful diagnostic approach to onychomycosis. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in diagnosis of onychomycosis and compare it with microscopy and culture. Fifty‐two patients with clinically suspected onychomycosis were included in this study. After a sufficient amount of specimen was taken from the nail, PCR, microscopy and cultural methods were used in the examination of the samples. Out of all the 52 specimens, 40 (77%) specimens were positive by microscopy, 12 (23%) by culture, and 20 (38%) by PCR. In conclusion, if enough material can be taken, the PCR method appears to be a valuable diagnostic tool in cases where fungus can not be detected by conventional methods.