• latex allergy;
  • nasal provocation test;
  • glove use test

Background:  Most studies regarding natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy have concentrated on the prevalance using skin prick test (SPT) and specific IgE assay. The objective of this study is to examine the target organ (skin, nasal mucosa) responses in patients with positive SPT to NRL using the nasal provacation test (NPT) and glove use test (GUT).

Methods:  Four thousand four hundred and twenty patients presented to our polyclinic between July 2003 and January 2007 were evaluated. One thousand six hundred and ninety-nine patients had positive SPT to one or more allergens (NRL and other inhaler allergens). Twenty-nine patients with positive SPT to NRL comprised the NRL sensitive group (group 1). Thirty-five randomized patients with positive SPT to an inhaler allergen other than NRL and negative NRL-specific IgE comprised atopic control group (group 2). Thirty healthy individuals who had no allergic diseases and had negative SPT and NRL-specific IgE comprised the healthy control group (group 3).

Results:  The lowest NRL allergen concentration leading to NPT positiveness was 0.05 μg/mL. NPT was negative in groups 2 and 3. NPT was found to have a sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 100%, negative predictive value of 98% and positive predictive value of 100%. GUT was found to have a sensitivity of 81%, specificity of 90%, negative predictive value of 75% and positive predictive value of 93%.

Conclusions:  Nasal provocation test was successfully used for the first time in the diagnosis of NRL allergy. NPT is a more sensitive method as compared to GUT.