A comparison of skin endpoint titration and skin-prick testing in the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis

Anil Gungor, Steven M. Houser, Benjamin F. Aquino, Imran Akbar, Rizwan Moinuddin, Bulent Mamikoglu, Jacquelynne P. Corey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Among the many methods of allergy diagnosis are intradermal testing (IDT) and skin-prick testing (SPT). The usefulness of IDT has been called into question by some authors, while others believe that studies demonstrating that SPT was superior might have been subject to bias. We conducted a study to compare the validity of SPT and IDT-specifically, the skin endpoint titration (SET) type of IDT-in diagnosing allergic rhinitis. We performed nasal provocation testing on 62 patients to establish an unbiased screening criterion for study entry. Acoustic rhinometric measurements of the nasal responses revealed that 34 patients tested positive and 28 negative. All patients were subsequently tested by SET and SPT. We found that SPT was more sensitive (85.3 vs 79.4%) and more specific (78.6 vs 67.9%) than SET as a screening procedure. The positive predictive value of SPT was greater than that of SET (82.9 vs 75.0%), as was the negative predictive value (81.5 vs 73.0%). None of these differences was statistically significant; because of the relatively small sample size, our study was powered to show only equivalency. The results of our study suggest that the information obtained by the SET method of IDT is comparable to that obtained by SPT in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and overall performance and that both SET and SPT correlate well with nasal provocation testing for ragweed. Therefore, the decision as to which to use can be based on other factors, such as the practitioner's training, the desire for quantitative results, the desire for rapid results, and the type of treatment (i.e., immunotherapy or pharmacotherapy) that is likely to be chosen on the basis of test results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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