The atopy patch test has developed into a valuable additional tool in the diagnostic work-up of food allergy in infants and children with atopic dermatitis. A positive atopy patch test may help to prevent imposing restrictive and unnecessary diets after misjudging late reactions by clinical assessment alone. Furthermore, the combination of positive atopy patch tests together with defined levels of specific IgE makes double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges superfluous in some cases. However, several open questions indicate the need for further studies.
Department of Pneumology and Immunology, University Children's Hospital Charité of Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Correspondence to Bodo Niggemann, MD, Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Children's Hospital Charité, Humboldt University, Augustenburger Platz 1, D - 13353 Berlin, Germany. Tel: +49 30 450 56 66 43; fax: +49 30 450 56 69 31; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org