Background: We assessed the reliability of basophil activation test (FAST) and sulphidoleukotriene production (CAST) in the in vitro diagnosis of allergy to metamizol, evaluating its sensitivity and specificity.
Methods: Twenty-six patients allergic to metamizol and 30 control individuals were studied. Skin tests with metamizol, FAST, and CAST were performed.
Results: FAST sensitivity was 42.3% and specificity 100%. The PPV of FAST is 100% and the NPV 99.4%. The likelihood ratio for a positive value cannot be calculated because the specificity is 100% and the likelihood ratio for a negative value is 0.58. CAST sensitivity was 52%, and specificity 90%. The PPV of the test is 5% and the NPV 99.5%. The likelihood ratio for a positive result was 5.2 and that for a negative result 0.53. FAST detects a larger number of cases when patients are studied within the first 6 months after the clinical reaction (χ = 4.2, P = 0.04) than later. Together with skin tests, FAST allowed detection of 69.2% patients allergic to metamizol, the same as CAST 76%. The joint use of the three techniques allowed identification of 76.9% of cases.
Conclusions: FAST and CAST are useful for the diagnosis of allergy to pyrazolones. Its usefulness clearly increases when recent reactions are studied.