Skin response to histamine. Reproducibility study of the dry skin prick test method and of the evaluation of microvascular changes with laser Doppler flowmetry.
Van Neste D
The author presents original data obtained when using the dry skin prick test method to introduce histamine into the skin and by non-invasive evaluation of the skin blood flow changes at various sites/times during the development of the weal and flare reaction. The test method (1-second prick test duration and evaluation with laser Doppler flowmetry) generated reproducible responses when repeated in the same group of subjects (n = 10). At predefined fixed skin locations within the histamine-induced flare reaction area increased volumes of skin blood flow were recorded. When similar locations were explored after the control prick test, there were only minimal changes in skin blood flow. Pooled data recorded at four different sites located 1 cm from prick sites showed minimal variation and skin perfusion volumes were greater than basal values. The development of the histamine-dependent weal in its early phase (9th min) was associated with slightly smaller numbers of skin blood perfusion units, compared with recordings made during the 15th min. The control prick tests showed slightly higher levels at 9 min than at 15 min. This inverse relationship might be useful to quantify the histamine-specific changes in skin blood flow. These data also clearly illustrate that it is mandatory to state the precise place of measurement and time after challenge when reporting on instrumental evaluation of the skin response to histamine.