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April 1980

Role of Delayed Hypersensitivity Tests in Surgery

Arch Surg. 1980;115(4):559. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380040181035

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To the Editor.—Delayed hypersensitivity reactivity was determined preoperatively in 80 surgical patients with the use of intradermal skin test. Three recall antigens were used (0.1 mL): streptokinase-streptodornase (40 units of streptokinase and 10 units of streptodornase), PPD (10 units/mL), and Candida albicans skin test antigen (1/100). The diameter of induration was measured in millimeters and recorded at 24 and 48 hours. The skin test was regarded as positive if the induration was 5 mm or greater. Fifty-eight patients were reactive (one or more of the three skin tests were positive) and 22 were anergic (no response to any of the three skin tests). The postoperative course was monitored for septic complications. Eighteen of the 80 patients (22%) had septic complications, none of which was lethal. Septic complications were eight (16%) in the group of 58 patients reactive to the skin tests, and ten (45%) in the group of 22

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