Background: We evaluated the value of positive intradermal dilution testing (IDT) after negative skin prick tests (SPT) by retrospectively determining allergy immunotherapy (AIT) outcomes. Methods: This private practice, cohort study compared the relative value of SPT vs. IDT in 371 adults and children with suspected manifestations of allergy: chronic allergic rhinitis (AR), asthma and/or chronic otitis media with effusion (OME). The primary outcome measure was symptom resolution following immunotherapy, as determined by symptom severity questionnaires completed by patients before and after AIT. Results: Positive IDT identified 193 (52%) patients who would not otherwise have been diagnosed. IDT detected 3.7-fold more allergens per patient than SPT (8.56 vs. 2.3; p < 0.01). Patients positive only on IDT responded to AIT equally well as those identifiable by SPT, independent of allergen sensitivity (67% by SPT vs. 62% by IDT; p = 0.69, not significantly different). Conclusion: Intradermal titration can identify patients who will benefit from allergy immunotherapy more accurately than SPT. Outcomes analysis in 371 patients shows that IDT doubled their chance of successful treatment with no greater risk of therapeutic failure. Positive IDT, following negative SPT, is clinically relevant and offers superior sensitivity over SPT for detecting allergens clinically relevant to diagnosis of AIT-responsive atopic disease.
Background: Results of surveys report that allergists use a wide range of doses for allergy immunotherapy; however, results of randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled studies suggest that the range of the optimum effective dosing is relatively narrow. Objective:
To review studies that established effective or less than fully effective doses for allergy immunotherapy. Methods: Studies were reviewed that established effective and ineffective subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy doses. Only those studies that expressed dosing
in terms of the content of a major allergen in the maintenance doses were included in defining effective and ineffective doses. Results: Studies were identified that showed effective doses for subcutaneous injection, established in randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled
trials, for short ragweed, timothy grass, house-dust mites, cat and dog dander, birch, and Alternaria. For short ragweed, timothy grass, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, and cat and dog dander, less-effective doses were determined, along with effective doses; the less-effective doses were only
one-fifth to one-tenth less in allergen content than were the effective doses. Effective doses of cockroach and all fungal extracts except Alternaria have not been established. Information is available on the mean major allergen content of U.S. standardized and a few nonstandardized extracts,
which allows the information on effective and ineffective dosing to be used in prescribing subcutaneous allergy immunotherapy. With sublingual allergy immunotherapy, all the approved tablets had multidose studies that determined the optimal dose. For the U.S. liquid extracts, to my knowledge,
there are no studies to define effective doses except for ragweed. Conclusions: Although a wide range of doses are prescribed by U.S. allergists, analysis of available data suggests that effective doses fall within a narrow range and that use of doses one-fifth or one-tenth
of the effective doses may sacrifice most or all of the potential efficacy of the treatment.