Detection of Nickel Sensitivity Has Increased in North American Patch-Test Patients

Robert L. Rietschel; Joseph F. Fowler; Erin M. Warshaw; Donald Belsito; Vincent A. DeLeo; Howard I. Maibach; James G. Marks; C.G. Toby Mathias; Melanie Pratt; Denis Sasseville; Frances J. Storrs; James S. Taylor; Kathryn A. Zug


Dermatitis. 2008;19(1):16-19. 

In This Article


All patients presenting for patch testing at NACDG patch test sites were eligible for inclusion. During this time interval (1992-2004), our method of testing was unchanged although NACDG membership varied as some members left and others were added. Patients were patch-tested as described previously.[1] Finn Chambers (Epitest Ltd Oy, Tuusula, Finland) on Scanpor tape (Norgesplaster Aksjeselskap, Vennesla, Norway) were used to apply allergens from Chemotechnique Diagnostics AB (Malmö, Sweden). The patches were applied for 2 days, removed and interpreted, and reinterpreted 1 to 5 days later. Patch tests results were scored as positive if + or greater. Macular erythema was scored as doubtful and was not included in this analysis. The concentration of nickel sulfate (2.5% in petrolatum) was consistent from 1992 to 2004.

De-identified data from participating centers were sent to a central database, manually entered, and checked for consistency. All analyses were performed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). Pearson chi-square tests were used to examine the association between nickel sensitivity and time period, gender, or age. A significance level of .05 was used.


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