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There is an association between contact allergy to aluminium and persistent subcutaneous nodules in children undergoing hyposensitization therapy

Authors


Eva Netterlid
Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI)
S:t Larsområdet, Hus 10
SE-221 85 Lund
Sweden
Tel: +46 46 18 85 35
Fax: +46 46 18 80 41
e-mail: eva.netterlid@med.lu.se

Abstract

Background:  The development of persistent itchy nodules at the injection site following hyposensitization therapy with aluminium-precipitated antigen extract has been described in several reports. Occasionally, contact allergy to aluminium has been reported in individuals with such nodules.

Objectives:  To investigate if hyposensitization therapy can induce contact allergy to aluminium and examine if there is any association between persistent subcutaneous nodules and aluminium allergy.

Patients/methods:  Sixty-one children with allergic asthma and/or allergic rhinitis participated in the study of whom 37 had had hyposensitization therapy. The study consisted of a non-clinical part based on a questionnaire and a clinical part with a physical examination, self-assessment of itching, and patch testing. To secure an unbiased evaluation of possible reactions, the investigators were blinded.

Results:  Contact allergy to aluminium was found in eight participants, all in the exposed group (8/37 versus 0/24, = 0.02). Examination showed nodules on the upper arms in 13 participants, all in the group exposed to hyposensitization therapy. Nodules were over-represented in patients with contact allergy to aluminium.

Conclusions:  There was a statistically significant association between contact allergy to aluminium and persistent subcutaneous nodules in children who had had hyposensitization therapy.

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