Penicillin skin testing can ID tolerance to beta-lactam agents
(HealthDay)—Penicillin skin testing (PST) can be used to identify whether patients will tolerate β-lactam, with a negative predictive value of 100 percent, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Ramzy H. Rimawi, M.D., from the Brody School of Medicine-East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and colleagues described the negative predictive value of PST and its impact on antibiotic selection in a sample of 146 patients with a reported history consistent with penicillin allergy and with negative PST. Patients were transitioned to treatment with a β-lactam agent.
The researchers found that only one of the patients experienced an allergic reaction to the PST. The remaining patients tolerated a full course of β-lactam therapy, with no evidence of allergic response. The negative predictive value for PST was 100 percent. PST-guided antibiotic alteration resulted in an estimated saving of $82,000 annually.
"Patients with a history of penicillin allergy who have a negative PST result are at a low risk of developing an immediate-type hypersensitivity reaction to β-lactam antibiotics," the authors write. "The increased use of PST may help improve antibiotic stewardship in the hospital setting."
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)