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December/January 2007/2008 (vol. 04/4)

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Research Plus

Prick testing alone is not enough

The omission of patch testing from the investigation of allergic skin disease, even when contact urticaria is the sole suspected diagnosis, would result in frequent missed diagnosis of contact allergy. Clinical records of 1,060 patients attending for patch testing were analysed; 27% referred from occupational health. Of 262 patients with negative prick tests, 121 had positive patch tests, 92 (35.1%) of which were of current relevance. Nine out of 106 health workers referred to exclude latex contact urticaria had positive prick tests to latex, while 50 had delayed-type hypersensitivity to common allergens including nickel, cobalt, rubber and its additives.

Clinical and Experimental Allergy 2007; 37(10): 1541–1546.  http://oem.bmj.com/content/64/12/806.full.pdf+html

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2007/2008 (vol. 04/4) pp39