BACKGROUND: Intradermal testing with delayed reading (IDTdr), used routinely in many centers, may identify delayed reactions to penicillins. However, few studies have compared the results of IDTdr with drug provocation test (DPT). The aim of this study was to examine the proportion of provocation-positive patients testing positive on IDTdr.
METHODS: Fifty-seven patients with a positive DPT occurring >2 h after intake of penicillin V, dicloxacillin, pivampicillin, or amoxicillin had an IDTdr with penicillin G, amoxicillin, ampicillin, and dicloxacillin. A control group included 18 patients with negative DPTs with the suspected penicillin.
RESULTS: In total 25% (n = 14) of provocation-positive patients tested positive on IDTdr. Among patients with positive IDTdr, 9/14 (64%) versus 11/43 (26%) in the IDTdr negative group (p < 0.05) had required oral steroids to treat skin reactions following DPT. No other differences between IDTdr positive and negative groups were found. No controls had a positive IDTdr.
CONCLUSION: Investigating with IDTdr would have identified 25% of patients with a DPT-verified allergy with delayed reactions. It is difficult to target subgroups who will test positive on IDTdr. There were more patients who tested positive on IDT who had received oral steroids after DPT, and this may be an indication that skin reaction severity plays a role in skin testing diagnostics. Further potential predictors for positivity of IDTdr, such as duration of skin symptoms, should be assessed in large studies in order to optimize the investigations of nonimmediate drug allergic reactions.