Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) can elicit specific IgE-mediated immune responses leading to asthma. This single-blinded study investigated the ability of TMA skin testing to identify workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies.
Forty TMA-exposed workers who were previously screened for the presence of TMA-IgG and/or IgE serum specific antibodies were skin tested to a TMA–human serum albumin reagent by nurses blinded to their antibody responses.
Findings from skin-prick tests were positive in 8 of 11 workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies. Intracutaneous testing, performed only on skin prick testing–negative workers, was positive in two additional workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies. A significant correlation was found between serum and skin test dilutions eliciting positive responses (ρ = 0.87, P < 0.05; n = 11).
TMA skin testing provides an alternative and potentially more practical method for monitoring TMA-exposed workers for developing IgE sensitization.
From the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Immunology/Allergy Section (Drs Bernstein, Ghosh, and Sublett) and Department of Environmental Health (Dr Levin), University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio; and ViraCor-IBT Laboratories, Inc. (Ms Wells), Lees Summit, Mo.
Address correspondence to: Jonathan A. Bernstein, MD, University of Cincinnati, 231 Albert Sabin Way, ML 563, Cincinnati, OH 45267 (Jonathan.Bernstein@uc.edu).
Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.