Natural evolution of skin-test sensitivity in patients with IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to cephalosporins

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There are studies demonstrating that skin-test sensitivity to penicillins can decrease over time and that allergic patients may lose sensitivity if the responsible compounds are avoided. With regard to subjects with IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to cephalosporins, however, such studies are lacking. We evaluated prospectively in a 5-year follow-up 72 cephalosporin-allergic patients. After the first evaluation, patients were classified into two groups according to their patterns of allergologic-test positivity: to both penicillins and cephalosporins (group A), or only to cephalosporins (group B). Skin tests and serum-specific IgE assays were repeated 1 year later and, in case of persistent positivity, 3 and 5 years after the first allergologic examination. Seven (43.7%) of the 16 subjects of group A and 38 (67.8%) of the 56 patients of group B became negative; one was lost to follow-up. Patients of group B became negative sooner and more frequently than group A subjects.

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