Negative evaluation of a pathergy test in hepatitis B surface antigen carriers

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The different cutaneous manifestations of hepatitis B virus infection have been described in different studies. We proposed to evaluate the frequency of skin pathergy positivity in hepatitis B surface antigen carriers. The study group consisted of 92 hepatitis B surface antigen carriers and 76 healthy individuals as a control group. The pathergy test was applied intradermally to both forearms of the patients and the control subjects. The results of the pathergy test were evaluated. Papule or pustule formation was noted as positive. Four and one of the 92 hepatitis patients and 76 control subjects, respectively, were positive for the pathergy reaction. Evidently, this pathergy test that shows non-specific skin hyper-reactivity cannot be used as a clinical marker to indicate hepatitis B surface antigen carriers. The test cannot be used to predict the cutaneous manifestations of hepatitis B infection either.

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