Radcliffe, Michael J., Lewith, George T., Prescott, Philip, Church, Martin K. and Holgate, Stephen T.
Do skin prick and conjunctival provocation tests predict symptom severity in seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis?
Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 36, (12), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02594.x).
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Background: in the investigation of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR), quantitative skin and conjunctival allergen challenge tests may be used as a way of measuring individual allergen sensitivity. These tests are reproducible and relate well to prevalence, but their relationship to symptom severity is less well established.
Objective: we wished to determine if quantitative skin prick tests (QSPT) and conjunctival provocation tests (CPTs) using a single grass pollen allergen extract are reproducible and predict symptom severity in SAR.
Methods: we retrospectively analysed data from 91 participants in a previously published randomised placebo controlled study of low dosage allergen immunotherapy who were randomised to receive placebo treatment. We examined the relationship between pre-seasonal QSPT, CPT and SAR symptoms.
Results: we found a high level of reproducibility when repeated measures were compared for both the QSPT (p < 0.001) and the CPT (p < 0.001) and moderate correlation (0.493) between the standard skin prick test (SPT) and the QSPT (p<0.001). We found weak negative correlation (-0.27) between the QSPT and the CPT (p<0.001). We found no correlation between seasonal symptom, use of rescue medication or quality of life (QOL) scores and pre-seasonal QSPT or CPT.
Conclusion: in the assessment of seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis, quantitative skin and conjunctival allergen challenge tests are strongly reproducible, although there is no correlation between these tests and seasonal symptom, use of rescue medication or QOL scores.
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