Diagnostic accuracy of atopy patch tests for food allergy in children with atopic dermatitis aged less than two years.Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2014 Jan-Feb; 42(1):22-8AI
Atopy patch tests (APT) have been introduced as a valuable tool for the diagnosis of food allergy. However, interpretation of the readout of APT requires further clarification.
To investigate the accuracy of APT in identifying atopic sensitisation to hen's eggs (HE), cow's milk (CM), soybean and wheat in Chinese children with atopic dermatitis (AD) aged less than two years and to evaluate skin signs of APT for accurate diagnosis of food allergy.
APT was performed and food allergy confirmed by open oral food challenges with HE, CM, soybean and wheat in 150 Chinese AD children aged less than two years. The sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values, positive (LR+) and negative likelihood ratio (LR-) of APT were calculated.
Erythema and infiltration were not sufficiently indicative of a positive APT. The PPV increased with the appearance of indurations and the number of papules. The true positive APT rate increased from scores of + to +++. The PPV and specificity were 100% while APT scores of +++ were obtained with HE, CM and wheat. The sensitivity of APT with HE, CM, soybean and wheat allergy ranged from 59.6% to 90.5%, while the specificity ranged from 82.1% to 92.4%.
The APT is a suitable method for the diagnosis of AD in Chinese children aged less than two years with food allergies. Erythema and infiltration are not sufficient indicators of APT positivity. The PPV increases with indurations and the number of papules.