Challenge tests in the diagnosis of latex allergy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology / Iisi ramco. - Landsberg
, p. 543-552
The aim of this study is to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and safety of challenge tests and their usefulness in the diagnosis of latex allergy. Forty adult subjects (F/M = 34/6, aged 18-66 yrs) with a history of adverse reactions after latex exposure and positive prick test and/or specific IgE to latex were enrolled. They were compared with 20 control subjects. They underwent provocative (cutaneous, mucous-oral, sublingual, conjunctival, nasal, bronchial, vaginal) tests. Symptoms and drug scores were recorded for each patient during challenges. All patients reacted to at least one of the following: cutaneous, nasal and conjunctival tests. No systemic reactions requiring epinephrine occurred. Of the challenges, the vaginal test resulted as the safest, but it had low sensitivity and many limits related to the procedure. According to our data, bronchial and nasal tests had the highest sensitivity (76% and 82% respectively), and were more precise than other tests in determining latex exposure and symptoms, but the bronchial test also presented the highest rate of risk. Mucous and cutaneous tests resulted as the most reliable. For all the tests, specificity and positive predictive value were 100%. All control subjects resulted negative to all challenges. There were no statistically significant changes in skin and serologic tests between the first and second visits. Correlations between MIS and skin tests and between MIS and serum tests were not found. Challenges can be considered safe diagnostic procedures. Tests that most faithfully reproduce natural exposure, on the basis of a patient?s history, are preferable.