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Reliability of skin test results when read at different time points

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Percutaneous skin testing to determine allergies is usually read 15‐20 minutes after placement, but the time to reading may be prolonged because of clinic duties or emergencies. The objective of the study was to compare skin-prick testing (SPT) wheal and flare reactions at 10, 30, and 40 minutes with the standard 20 minutes to determine if extended time from placement to reading skin tests interferes with clinical significance. Fifty-three subjects undergoing routine aeroallergen SPT for allergy symptoms were tested with allergen extracts, histamine, and a negative control solution. Based on these results, SPTs can be read up to 40 minutes after placement but are more reliable when read between 20 and 30 minutes after placement. Skin testing to determine IgE-mediated or immediate hypersensitivity can be read up to 30 minutes without significant loss of reliability.
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Keywords: Allergens; IgE-mediated skin tests; allergies; immediate hypersensitivity; procedures; quality assurance; skin testing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2011

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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