Volume 53 Page 324 - December 2005
Volume 53 Issue 6
Thimerosal – Is it really irrelevant?
Dan Slodownik1 and Arieh Ingber
Recently, several investigators claimed that thimerosal is one of the most irrelevant allergens existing in screening for contact dermatitis. 508 patients who were suspected to have allergic contact dermatitis were patch tested at our clinic. They completed a questionnaire including medical, demographic and occupational details. We used the standard tray of chemotechnique diagnostics (Malmö, Sweden) and additional series, which were case relevant. The relevance of the allergic reaction to thimerosal was scored from 1 to 6. 19 patients (3.7%) had an allergic reaction to
thimerosal. 6 (31.5%) had a definite relevance and 8 (42.1%) had a probable relevance. Only 3 patients (15.8%) had an irrelevant reaction. SPIN value (significance–prevalence index number) was 2281. We found a high proportion of mechanics (42.1%) among the patients who had positive reaction to thimerosal (P < 0.0001). Although previous reports found thimerosal highly irrelevant, our daily experience being supported by the above data indicates that positive reactions to thimerosal could be relevant for many patients.