Skin tests are important in children with β-lactam hypersensitivity, but may be reduced in number

Lucia Diaferio, Anca Mirela Chiriac, Maria Chiara Leoni, Riccardo Castagnoli, Silvia Caimmi, Vito Leonardo Miniello, Pascal Demoly, Davide Caimmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is no perfect agreement on how to perform an allergy workup in suspected beta-lactam (BL)–allergic children, since skin test (ST)–induced pain is often a limitation. The aim of the study was to assess the possibility of reducing the number of ST in children when performing a complete allergy workup for BL hypersensitivity reactions. Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients referring to the Allergy Unit of the University Hospital of Montpellier (France) with positive responses in immediateand non–immediate-reading ST to a BL over a 16-year period was performed, to determine the positive predictive value (PPV) of ST. All pediatric patients with a suspected BL hypersensitivity were skin-tested with the suspected drug only, during the following 54 months. Results: A total of 319 patients reporting 328 BL reactions were included in the retrospective study. The PPV of ST for the reported drug was of 99.4%. Based on the results, the number of patients to include in the prospective study was estimated to be 101. In the prospective study, 229 children were included. We diagnosed a BL hypersensitivity in 12 children (5.2%): Diagnosis was reached in 6 (50.0%) through ST (delayed reading for all) and in 6 through drug provocation test (DPT). Conclusion: ST with BL should therefore be performed as a screening test, before DPT, and testing only the suspected drug may be sufficient when dealing with children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • beta-lactam allergy
  • children
  • drug allergy
  • skin tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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