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Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2012 Fall;3(2):e55-60. doi: 10.2500/ar.2012.3.0034. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

The rate of epinephrine administration associated with allergy skin testing in a suburban allergy practice from 1997 to 2010.

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  • 1University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio, ; Richmond Medical Center, Richmond Heights, Ohio.

Abstract

Allergy skin testing is considered a safe method for testing for IgE-mediated allergic responses although anaphylactic events can occur. Reported rates of anaphylaxis per patient are not consistent and range from 0.008 to 4%. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of epinephrine use associated with allergy skin-prick testing (SPT) and intradermal testing (IDT) in a suburban practice over 13 years. This retrospective chart review used billing and procedure coding records during the time period from January 1997 to June 2010 to identify encounters where epinephrine was administered after SPT or IDT. Patient encounters with procedure codes for skin testing plus either parenteral epinephrine, corticosteroid, antihistamine, or i.v. fluid administration were identified. These patient charts were reviewed to determine if epinephrine was administered, whether systemic reactions developed, and rates of epinephrine administration were calculated. There were 28,907 patient encounters for SPT and 18,212 for IDT. Epinephrine was administered in six patient encounters (0.02%) where SPT was performed; no IDT encounters led to epinephrine administration. There were no fatalities. Allergy skin testing to a variety of allergens, when administered by well-trained personnel, is a safe procedure. This study, involving the largest population to date, showed a rate of systemic reactions requiring epinephrine of 20 per 100,000 SPT visits. No epinephrine was given after IDT.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse reactions; allergic rhinitis; anaphylactoid reactions; anaphylaxis; food allergy testing; idiopathic anaphylaxis; intradermal testing; skin-prick testing; systemic reactions; venom allergy testing

PMID:
23342290
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3548609
Free PMC Article
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