Date of Publish: 01/10/2003

Validity of MELISA® for metal sensitivity testing

Valentine-Thon E, Schiwara HW, Neuroendocrinology Letters 2003; 24(1/2):57-64
OBJECTIVE: This study was carried out to evaluate the reproducibility, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability of the MELISA® test for detecting metal sensitivity in patients with clinical symptoms of a type IV hypersensitivity to metal.
DESIGN: Blood from 250 patients was tested in MELISA® against up to 20 different metals in 2 to 3 concentrations. The frequency and distribution of metal reactivities, the sensitivity and specificity of nickel reactivity in patients with and without confirmed or suspected sensitivity to nickel, and the roles of lymphocyte concentration and concentration of inorganic mercury were analyzed.
RESULTS: Among the 250 patients, reactivity to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 metals was 26%, 36%, 15%, 12%, 6%, and 5%, respectively. Reactivity was most frequent to nickel (73%), followed by titanium (42%), cadmium (18%) gold (17%), palladium (13%), lead (11%), beryllium (9%), inorganic mercury (8%), tin (8%), and phenylmercury (6%). All patients (n=15) with confirmed or suspected nickel allergy were positive in MELISA®, while patients with no suspicion of nickel allergy were either negative (n=6) or very low positive (n=4) in MELISA® .
CONCLUSION: The MELISA® test is reproducible, sensitive, specific, and reliable for detecting metal sensitivity in metal-sensitive patients.

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