Skin prick testing to aeroallergen extracts: what is the optimal panel in children and adolescents in Turkey?

Research paper by Umit Murat UM Şahiner, Ersoy E Civelek, Süleyman Tolga ST Yavuz, Ayşe Betül AB Büyüktiryaki, Ayfer A Tuncer, Bülent Enis BE Şekerel

Indexed on: 30 Nov '11Published on: 30 Nov '11Published in: International archives of allergy and immunology


The skin prick test (SPT) is the standard tool for the diagnosis of IgE-mediated allergic diseases. The number and spectrum of allergen extracts to be applied for the diagnosis of sensitized patients in order to achieve the most cost-effective and informative results are critical from both economic and scientific viewpoints.In order to determine the minimum test battery panel necessary to cover at least 95% of the cases of SPT sensitization in children and adolescents (2-18 years) with suspected respiratory allergies, we retrospectively analyzed the SPT results of the largest referral center of the country.Over a 2.5-year period, a total of 2,457 children (male/female ratio 1.51) with a median (range) age of 6.8 years (2.0-18.0) were subjected to SPT. Eight hundred and sixty-two (35.1%) children were found to be sensitized to at least one of the 30 aeroallergen extracts tested. The most common sensitizations were to grasses (Festuca pratensis, Phleum pratense, Dactylis glomerata, and Lolium perenne), house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae), cat, weeds (Chenopodium, Plantago, and Artemisia), and moulds (Alternaria and Cladosporium). The sensitization rates increased in conjunction with an increase in age. Testing with 12, 8, and 7 allergens was sufficient to identify over 95% of the sensitized preschool children, school children, and adolescents, respectively.An SPT panel covering 12 allergen extracts was sufficient to detect most of the sensitized children and adolescents with recurrent respiratory symptoms. As the patients grow older, a smaller test panel is required compared to the panels used at younger ages.