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July 1958


AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(1):102-103. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560070106024

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To the Editor: In the article on poison ivy (Rhus) dermatitis, by A. M. Kligman (A. M. A. Arch. Dermat. 77:149 [Feb.] 1958), the last conclusion (p. 177) reads as follows: "The treatment of Rhus dermatitis by the administration of Rhus allergens during the acute attack is irrational and hazardous."

This statement seems to be based mainly on the severe toxic effects encountered by Kligman, who gave intramuscular injections with enormous and heroic doses of 3-n-pentadecyl catechol (0.2 cc. of 10% solution or 20 mg.) to 11 patients having acute poison ivy dermatitis. Of these 11 patients, at least 2 had such severe reactions as to warrant hospitalization; the remainder had varying degrees of systemic and local reactions.

These data do not show that it is hazardous or even irrational to administer Rhus allergens during an attack of poison ivy dermatitis unless high concentrations of the allergens are given. This

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