Excipient and Dose per Unit Area Affect Sensitivity When Patch Testing with Gold Sodium Thiosulfate

Dathan Hamann, Magnus Bruze, Joseph F. Fowler, Carsten R. Hamann, Klaus E. Andersen, C P Hamann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Dose/area and reading paradigms for gold patch testing are controversial and not standardized worldwide. Objectives The aims of this study were to determine the optimum patch test dose of gold sodium thiosulfate (GST) in a hydrogel (HYD) and to establish GST HYD safety/efficacy and further characterize normal morphology and time course of GST reactions. Methods Twenty gold-allergic patients were patch tested with a dilution series of GST HYD and with GST 2% petrolatum (pet). Furthermore, this previously determined optimal dose was compared with GST 0.5% pet in 19 known-allergic and 216 consecutive subjects. Results The optimal GST HYD dose was 0.075 mg/cm2, not statistically different from GST 2% pet (P = 0.4795). Gold sodium thiosulfate HYD outperformed GST 0.5% pet in both known-allergic subjects (79% vs 63%, P = 0.2482) and consecutive subjects (30% vs 9%, P < 0.0001). Late reactions were common in consecutive patients with both HYD and pet. Significantly more persistent reactions were associated with GST HYD than with GST 0.5% pet. Conclusions Gold sodium thiosulfate HYD 0.075 mg/cm2 is the optimal dose for diagnosis of gold contact allergy with GST. Gold sodium thiosulfate 0.5% pet yielded false-negatives in some patients, suggesting inadequate dose per centimeter squared. Late reads are normal, expected, and necessary for diagnosis of gold contact allergy in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


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