Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2017 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Medline ® Abstract for Reference 36

of 'Overview of skin testing for allergic disease'

Is it important to perform pollen skin prick tests in the season?
Sin BA, Inceoglu O, Mungan D, Celik G, Kaplan A, Misirligil Z
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2001;86(4):382.
BACKGROUND: Seasonal exposure to pollens causes the characteristic symptoms of respiratory allergy as well as an increase in specific IgE levels and inflammatory mediator release. However, little is known about the effect of natural allergen exposure on the skin test reactivity of patients with seasonal allergy.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the monthly variation in skin test reactions with pollen allergens during pollen season and its relation to pollen counts.
METHODS: Fifteen subjects with seasonal allergic rhinitis and/or asthma (4 male, 11 female) between the ages of 13 and 52 (mean 33.9 +/- 2.9) who lived in Ankara, Turkey were selected for this study. Patients were monitored from the beginning of March to the end of September 1997, and skin prick tests were performed using 5 grass, 12 tree, and 5 weed pollen allergen extracts every month. Atmospheric pollen grains were counted in the Ankara area between January and December, 1997.
RESULTS: There were small but statistically significant increases in tree pollen-induced wheal sizes in May when compared with other months (P<0.05). Skin test reactivity was correlated with tree pollen counts (r = 0.978, P<0.05). There was not a significant difference in skin test reactivity to grass and weed pollens between months.
CONCLUSIONS: Although skin test reactivity may be slightly greater to tree pollen during the tree pollen season, the timing of skin testing is not a critical determinant in patients with pollen allergy.
University of Ankara, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Allergic Diseases, Turkey. betulayse83@hotmail.com