Patch Testing With a Large Series of Metal Allergens

Findings From More Than 1,000 Patients in One Decade at Mayo Clinic

Mark D.P. Davis; Michael Z. Wang; James A. Yiannias; James H. Keeling; Suzanne M. Connolly; Donna M. Richardson; Sara A. Farmer


Dermatitis. 2011;22(05):256-271. 

In This Article


Patient Characteristics

In total, 1,138 patients were eligible for the study. Twenty-six withheld research authorization and were excluded; therefore, results from 1,112 patients are reported here. Patient characteristics, indications for patch testing (site of dermatitis), and final diagnoses are presented in Table 2.

Patch-Test Results

The rates of allergic patch-test reactions to metals are summarized in Table 3. Of the 1,112 patients in the study, 633 (57%) had at least one allergic patch-test reaction. Specifically, 207 patients (19%) had 1 positive reaction, 127 (11%) had 2, 96 (9%) had 3, 79 (7%) had 4, 46 (4%) had 5, 42 (3.8%) had 6, 19 (2%) had 7, and the remaining 17 patients had 8 or more reactions. Additionally, 181 patients (16%) had at least one irritant reaction. A comparison of our findings with previously published rates is shown in Table 4.

A comparison of allergic patch-test reaction rates to metals of different salts and concentrations is presented in Table 5.

Data comparing results between sexes and among age groups are not shown here owing to space constraints. In summary, a higher prevalence of nickel, palladium, gold, and cobalt allergies was observed in female patients (p < .05).


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