Diagnostic procedures & practices in drug allergy/hypersensitivity: a survey of 13 Asian countries

Min-Moon Tang, Jie Shen Fok, Bernard Yu-Hor Thong, James Yun, Philip Hei Li, Hye-Ryun Kang, Francis Thien, Masao Yamaguchi, Michaela Lucas, Yoon-Seok Chang, Byung-Keun Kim, Mizuho Nagao, Iris Rengganis, Yi-Giien Tsai, Wen-Hung Chung, Ticha Rerkpattanapipat, Wasu Kamchaisatian, Ting Fan Leung, Joo-Yoon Ho, Luo ZhangAmir Hamzah Abdul Latiff, Takao Fujisawa, Mariana C. Castells, Pascal Demoly, Jiu Yao Wang, Ruby Pawankar

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9 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: The issues and challenges in the diagnosis of drug allergy/hypersensitivity among children and adults in Asia are likely to be different from non-Asian countries.

Objective: To study the diagnostic modalities used in the evaluation and management of drug allergy/drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs) among member societies of the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APAAACI).

Methods: A questionnaire comprising 41 questions was circulated electronically to member societies and individual members of APAAACI between January 23, 2020 and March 6, 2020.

Results: Twenty-six respondents from 15 member societies and 1 individual member responded. European DHR guidelines were most commonly used. Skin prick and intradermal testing was used by 100%, with only 60% having access to commercial penicillin skin test reagents. In vitro-speci?c IgE tests were used by 75%, and basophil activation test by 56.3% for immediate DHR. Patch tests were used by 75% in contrast to lymphocyte transformation tests by 25% for nonimmediate DHR. Drug provocation tests were used by 68.8%, the most common indication being to exclude hypersensitivity where history/symptoms were not suggestive of drug hypersensitivity/allergy (93.3%). Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype testing was mandatory among 25% respondents before new carbamazepine prescriptions, and 8.3% for allopurinol prescriptions.

Conclusions: There was increased use of skin testing for iodinated contrast media hypersensitivity and patch testing for nonimmediate DHR. HLA genotype testing prior to new carbamazepine, allopurinol and abacavir prescriptions remain variable despite strong associations for severe cutaneous adverse reactions with Asian ethnicity. Results of this survey form a useful framework for developing educational and training needs and for improving access to drug allergy diagnostic and treatment modalities across APAAACI member societies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Allergy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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