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Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 1999 Fall;17(3):323-38.

Skin testing and food challenges in allergy and immunology practice.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Skin tests by prick technique offer considerable guidance in the diagnosis of food allergy. Negative prick skin tests are powerful evidence against food allergy. Positive food skin tests are slightly to moderately predictive of reaction to a food on DBPCFC. Oral food challenge is necessary for confirmation of food allergy, except where the history is overwhelmingly convincing. Open, incremental food challenge as described is diagnostic if negative, but only 50% of all positive open challenges are confirmed on blinded challenge. DBPCFC can be designed for any food with simple blinding techniques. The technique of DBPCFC can be modified for investigation of atypical symptoms.

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