Dermal blood flow after local challenges with allergen, histamine, bradykinin and compound 48/80


Ann Hammarlund, MD, ENT Department, University Hospital, S-221 85 Lund, Sweden.


Blood flow was determined in weal and flare reactions and in late dermal reactions after skin-prick tests with allergen, histamine, bradykinin and compound 48/80 in pollenallergic subjects. Local blood flow was measured with laser Doppler flowmetry intermittently for up to48 hr at three distances from the prick centre (2 mm; weal, 15mm; flare and 30 mm). Continuous recordings were also made in the weal area after challenge with bradykinn and compound 48/80. The size of the induced weal and flare area of all the substances and the late phase after allergen was determined using digitized planimetry. Furthermore, simultaneous determinations of local dermal temperature and blood flow in the weal and flare site were performed intermittently for 6 hr after allergen and histamine challenges. There was a dose-dependent and distance-related increase in blood flow for all the substances tested. The blood flow in the 2-mm registrations had normalized 20 min after bradykinin, 1.5–2 hr after histamine and 3 hr after compound 48/80, while allergen induced a continuous increase in blood flow for more than 24 hr. The area of the weal and flare reaction was dose related for all substances, and a similar dose-dependent increase was noted for the observed dermal late-phase reactions present after allergen. The local temperature after challenge with allergen and hislamine was also increased in a distance-dependent manner. These studies suggest that laser Doppler flowmetry is a sensitive and reproducible method to quantify blood flow changes occurring after skin-prick tests. Different putative mediators or mast cell stimulating substances produce various response profiles, all of which differ from those observed after allergen. Temperature measurements after skin-prick tests seem to follow the observed changes in blood flow as measured with laser Doppler flowmetry, which may be why both techniques might reflect changes in capillary blood flow.