Background:Patch testing is considered to be the standard for diagnosis of delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions of the skin (allergic contact dermatitis).
Objective:The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of patch testing by US dermatologists and associated practice characteristics.
Methods:One-third of US Fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology were sampled systematically with a written survey. Responses from this survey were compared with responses from a 1990 survey of dermatologists.
Results:Eighty-three percent of responding dermatologists stated that they performed patch testing in their practice. Whereas the majority of patch testing dermatologists (52%) used a 48-hour, 96-hour patch test reading schedule, 26% performed a single reading at 48 or 72 hours. Among patch testing dermatologists, most (74%) used TRUE Test, and many (44%) did so because it was less time consuming for staff. Many dermatologists (46%) felt that they were patch testing more patients now than when TRUE Test was not available. Eleven percent of dermatologists who patch tested also photopatch tested.
Conclusions:The proportion of US dermatologists who patch test has significantly increased from 1990 to 1997 (P< .0001). Whereas the majority of US dermatologists patch test, one quarter of those who do so perform only a single reading.
From the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Supported by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and was presented, in part, at the American Contact Dermatitis Society Meeting, San Francisco, CA, March 2000
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs
The authors certify that we have no conflict of interest with any materials or commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript
Reprints not available.
©2002American Contact Dermatitis Society