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To the Editor.—
Recent experience with two patients illustrates what appears to be a specific type of falsenegative reaction to patch testing with volatile compounds.
Report of Cases
A 27-year-old white man was seen because of a four-day history of acute eczematous dermatitis of the dorsa of the hands and volar aspects of the wrists. He had been employed as a metal worker for three weeks and had no previous history of dermatitis. Occupational contact exposure was limited to two compounds, tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) and an unknown "lube oil."Patch testing results were as follows: A closed 48-hour test with 1% tetrachloroethylene in olive oil produced a 2 + reaction. Closed 48-hour tests with both 1% "lube oil" in olive oil and 50% "lube oil" in olive oil as well as an open test with 100% tetrachloroethylene applied "as is" produced no reaction.Control patch tests, applied to myself, with