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The Diagnostic Value of Skin-Prick Tests in Dermographic Individuals

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Fifty-five patients displaying significant dermographic wheals, who presented with respiratory or food allergy symptoms, were investigated prospectively. Fifty-five additional patients presenting with similar clinical histories as the study group but without dermographism were used as controls. Total serum IgE and skin-prick tests (SPT) to 30 common allergens were performed on all subjects. Specific IgE (RAST) was determined only in those whose history did not correlate with the skin-test results. Allergens that gave a positive reaction were retested with extra care to exert minimal pressure.

No statistically significant difference was found in the percentage of positive SPT reactors when comparing dermographic patients and controls (2 test). No significant difference was found when the number of positive SPT (mean values) was compared between dermographic subjects and controls (t-test). However, when the values of mild positive SPT (1+ to 2+) were compared between the two groups, there was a significant difference only on the first performance of SPT in dermographic individuals (P < 0.05, t-test).

Our findings demonstrate that SPT can be reliable even in the presence of dermographism. False positive results are occasionally observed when the reactions are mild, but careful repetition of positive SPT might eliminate this problem.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1991

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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