Importance of supplemental patch testing beyond a screening series for patients with dermatitis: The North American Contact Dermatitis Group Experience Journal Article uri icon
  • IMPORTANCE: Patch test screening series for patients with dermatitis are limited and may miss clinically relevant contact allergens. OBJECTIVE: To characterize individuals with dermatitis who showed clinically relevant patch test findings to supplemental (nonscreening) allergens or substances. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A 17-year, retrospective cross-sectional analysis (January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2018) of North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) data from multiple centers in North America was conducted. A total of 43 417 patients with dermatitis underwent patch testing to the NACDG screening series in a standardized manner with 65 to 70 allergens and supplemental allergens as clinically indicated. Patients with 1 or more clinically relevant reactions to a supplemental (nonscreening) allergen/substance were analyzed between November 18, 2020, and March 12, 2021. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The main outcomes were to assess the number of patients with clinically relevant reactions to supplemental (nonscreening) allergens and compare characteristics (including demographic characteristics and occupations) between patients with a clinically relevant patch test reaction to 1 or more supplemental allergens or substances (supplement-positive) and those without a reaction (supplement-negative) using odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs. Secondary outcomes included sources of allergic contact dermatitis and, for occupationally related cases, specific occupations and industries. RESULTS: Of 43 417 patients included in the study who underwent patch testing to the NACDG screening series (65-70 allergens), 9507 individuals (21.9%) had currently relevant reactions to 1 or more supplemental allergens or substances. Of these, 6608 were women (69.5%) and the mean (SD) age was 47.2 (0.54) years. Compared with patients who had supplement-negative results, patients with supplement-positive findings were significantly less likely to be male (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85-0.94; P < .001) and/or have atopic dermatitis (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.93; P < .001). Common primary sites of dermatitis in 9499 patients with supplement-positive findings included the face (2856 [30.1%]), hands (2029 [21.4%]), and scattered/generalized distribution (1645 [17.3%]). Frequent sources of supplemental allergens in 9235 patients included personal care products (4746 [51.4%]) and clothing/wearing apparel (1674 [18.1%]). Of 9362 patients with available data, supplemental allergens/substances were occupationally related in 1580 (16.9%); of those with identified occupations, 25.1% (384 of 1529) were precision production, craft, or repair workers. Of 9507 patients with supplement-positive findings, 2447 (25.7%) had no currently relevant reactions to NACDG screening allergens. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cross-sectional study found that 21.9% of patients who underwent patch testing to an allergen screening series of 65 to 70 allergens had at least 1 relevant reaction to supplemental allergens/substances. Of these, one-quarter reacted only to a supplemental allergen/substance. Screening series include common, important allergens, but these findings suggest that the addition of specialty allergens and personal or work products is critical for the successful diagnosis and management of allergic contact dermatitis.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2021
  • published in
  • JAMA dermatology  Journal
  • Research
  • Dermatitis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Screening
  • Additional Document Info
  • 157
  • issue
  • 12