Supplementary Material for: Evaluation of Methods for the Estimation of Threshold Concentrations by the Skin Prick Test
Background: The allergen dose-response curve is flat; thus, small changes in wheal size reflect large differences in skin sensitivity. The sensitivity as measured by provocation tests is given by the threshold concentration that causes symptoms and/or objective signs. The threshold concentrations differ by several magnitudes between the most and the least sensitive individuals clinically allergic to the same allergen. Variation in technique can be minimized by relating allergen responses to that to histamine. The aim here is to present and validate simple methods for estimation of the skin sensitivity given as the concentration inducing a wheal of the same size as that with the positive reference, 10 mg/ml of histamine HCl, in the same patient. Methods: Data from previously reported trials on the biological equilibration of allergen extracts were used to document a method to calculate the concentration of allergen required to induce a wheal of the same size as that with 10 mg/ml of histamine dihydrochloride in the same patient, and to validate the methods using the parallel line bioassay as the gold standard. Results: The validated methods correlated well with the results obtained using the gold standard method and provide results of skin prick testing based on threshold concentrations of allergen. Conclusions: The validated methods reduce the error of differences in testing techniques and make it possible to report skin sensitivity at threshold concentrations. A simple method to be used in clinical practice and a method suitable to describe changes in skin reactivity over time or during treatment are proposed.