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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Pneumologica 2007 March;46(1):39-42
Controversial diagnostic test in allergy: traditional versus alternative medicine
Failla M., Moncada R., Mastruzzo C., Crimi N., Vancheri C.
Sezione di Malattie Respiratorie e Allergologia Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Medicina Specialistica Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italia
Allergic diseases represent an emerging problem because of the increasing prevalence in a consistent part of the population. Despite the understanding of physiopathological basis of allergic diseases is continuously improving, diagnostic procedures currently available are often limited to the basic skin tests and to dangerous challenges. In this context, an altered perception of allergies in the population is further amplified by the increase of somatic disorders that requires careful evaluation and punctual diagnosis. Alternative diagnostic tests are not scientifically validated procedures which are more and more used in the diagnostic workup of allergies nowadays. Cytotoxic test, provocation-neutralization tests, electrodermal testing, applied kinesiology are all examples of nonvalidated tests used in the clinical practice by physician and by clinical analysis laboratories. The purpose of this review is to critically examine alternative diagnostic procedures and their rationale, in order to inform physicians on the relative usefulness of these methods in disorders which might require much careful examination and attention.