Evaluation of variables influencing the outcome of the atopy patch test

E.C. Langeveld-Wildschut, A.M.W. van Marion, T. Thepen, G.C. Mudde, P.L.B. Bruijnzeel, C.A.F.M. Bruijnzeel - Koomen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The number of positive atopy patch test (APT) results in patients with atopic eczema (AE) varies in different studies, probably because of different test techniques. Variables that may influence the outcome of the APT were evaluated.

METHODS: APTs were performed in 84 patients with AE, 30 control patients with atopic disease, and 85 healthy volunteers, with house dust mite and grass pollen allergens in concentrations of 100, 1000, 10,000, and 100,000 allergenic units/ml. The influence of 0, 10, or 20 tape strippings was investigated. The tests were performed on the back and/or the antecubital fossa and evaluated after 20 minutes and 24, 48, and 72 hours. In all patients the total and specific serum IgE levels were measured.

RESULTS: The maximal number of positive APT results were obtained under the following conditions: an allergen concentration equal to 10,000 allergenic units/ml, 10 tape strippings and readings at 24 and 48 hours. Positive APT results were observed in five of 30 control patients with atopic disease and in none of 85 healthy volunteers. Statistically significantly higher total and allergen-specific serum IgE levels were found in the group of patients with AE with positive APT results.

CONCLUSIONS: We recommend the previously described conditions to get an optimal method for APT. The correlation between the APT and the total and specific serum IgE suggests an important role for IgE in the reaction mechanism behind the APT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


  • Adult
  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Atopic
  • Dust
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mites
  • Poaceae
  • Pollen
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skin Tests


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