RAST tests have traditionally been considered less sensitive than skin tests during investigation of atopy involving molds. This has been attributed to technical problems such as difficulty in binding the mold antigen to the carrier substrate. Ten patients with proven allergic fungal sinusitis were evaluated for sensitivity to 11 important molds by both RAST and dilutional intradermal testing. A predictable correlation between RAST and skin test scores was observed in many, but not all, cases. Most often this disparity was in the form of greater sensitivity indicated by skin testing than by RAST, sometimes differing by as many as 3 classes. The lack of concordance was not confined to testing for the fungi cultured from the sinuses, nor was it more or less pronounced in the case of dematiaceous fungi. The most likely causes for the disparity noted in this series are subtle differences in antigens used in skin test material and for RAST standards. Skin tests allow for evaluation of delayed and late-phase reactions, a measurement not possible by specific IgE testing with RAST. Delayed skin test reactions were not noted in this series of patients. An additional important finding was the sensitivity of patients with allergic fungal sinusitis to virtually every fungal antigen to which they were tested.
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