Prevalence and methodology of patch testing by allergists in the United States: Results of a cross-sectional survey

April L. Farrell, Erin M Warshaw, Yanli Zhao, David B Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Patch testing is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis. Whereas previous surveys have evaluated the patch testing practices of dermatologists, little information is available on the use of patch testing by allergists. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of patch testing and associated methodologies used by allergists in the United States. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of all US Fellows of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology was conducted. Results: Of 1,239 questionnaires mailed, 519 (42%) were returned. Fifty-three percent of allergists reported performing patch testing. The majority (89%) patch tested 5 or fewer patients per month. Allergists who evaluated for latex allergy were twice as likely to patch test than those who did not. The most common patch test reading schedule was at both 48 and 72 hours (48%). Thirty-three percent of respondents performed only a single patch test reading. The majority (72%) used TRUE Test. Only 4% patch tested for Type IV allergy to dust mites. Conclusion: Many more allergists patch test than initially hypothesized. The patch testing methodologies used by allergists are similar to those of dermatologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Contact Dermatitis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the University of Minnesota Medical School; The Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota; Biostatistics Department, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; and Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN. This study was supported by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and VA Health Services Research. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs Reprints not available. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. 1046-199X/02/1304-0002$35.00/0 doi:10.1053/ajcd.2002.36642


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