Objective To evaluate the diagnostic performance of a new “point of care” (POC) allergy test in a Paediatric Allergy Clinic.
Methods Clinical history of children attending for the first time at the clinic, between October and December 2007, was documented. Instead of routine allergy tests we used ImmunoCAP® Rapid Wheeze/Rhinitis (Phadia AB), a new in-vitro qualitative test with ten common allergens in paediatric patients, performed with 110 μl of whole blood and with results available in 20 minutes. After the test, a satisfaction questionnaire was done.
Results A total of 39 patients were included, with a median age of 5 years (2–16). Wheezing and/or asthma were reported in 30 (78%) and rhinitis in 32 (82%). In 36 children (92%) symptoms were persistent. Only in 5 patients (13%), triggering allergens were found by the clinical history: house dust mites in 3 (8%) and cats in 2 (5%). The new test identified one or more allergens in 29 children (74%): house dust mites in 23 (59%) and cats in 6 (15%). In 21/36 patients (58%) with persistent symptoms house dust mites were identified by the test. All triggering allergens identified by the clinical history were confirmed by the test. Thirty two children (82%) preferred the test instead of routine ones.
Conclusions This test, easy to perform and well accepted by the patients, is apparently more sensitive than clinical evaluation and has a good clinical correlation. It seems a useful tool to rule in or out allergic sensitization in children with respiratory symptoms.