A World Allergy Organization International Survey on Diagnostic Procedures and Therapies in Drug Allergy/Hypersensitivity

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Abstract

Objective

To study the diagnostic and treatment modalities used in drug allergy/hypersensitivity among members of the World Allergy Organization (WAO).

Methods

A questionnaire comprising 39 questions was circulated electronically to member societies, associate member societies, and regional and affiliate organizations of WAO between June 29, 2009, and August 9, 2009.

Results

Eighty-two responses were received. Skin testing was used by 74.7%, with only 71.4% having access to penicillin skin test reagents. In vitro–specific IgE tests were used by 67.4%, and basophil activation test was used by 54.4%. Lymphocyte transformation tests were used by 36.8% and patch tests by 54.7%. Drug provocation tests were used by 68.4%, the most common indication being to exclude hypersensitivity where history/symptoms were not suggestive of drug hypersensitivity/allergy (76.9%). Rapid desensitization for chemotherapy, antibiotics, or biologic agents was used by 69.6%. Systemic corticosteroid was used in the treatment of Stevens–Johnson syndrome by 72.3%, and high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins in toxic epidermal necrolysis by 50.8%. Human leukocyte antigen screening before prescription of abacavir was used by 92.9% and before prescription of carbamazepine by 21.4%.

Conclusions

Results of this survey form a useful framework for developing educational and training needs and for improving access to drug allergy diagnostic and treatment modalities across WAO member societies.

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