With the increasing use of the skin for the detection of various sensitivities1 it is important to keep in mind that the reactions elicited in the skin give merely a visible record in part at least of the immunologic past history of the patient and per se do not portray a present illness. A correlation between positive tests and the history and observations in the allergic patient is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. The earlier reports of Rackemann and Simon2 and recently of Grow and Herman3 of the observations in so-called normal persons are of interest. Grow and Herman find that about 50 per cent of persons without discernible allergic complaint are positive to one or more substances on intracutaneous testing. The question of variations in technic as well as irritability of reagents is a factor of error which they mention. The possible rôle of
Current Comment. JAMA. 1936;106(14):1202–1203. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770140064016
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