Impaired resolution of wheals in the skin prick test and low diamine oxidase blood level in allergic patients

Impaired resolution of wheals dao deficiency histamine intolerance dermatology

Aneta Wagner1, Krzysztof Buczyłko2, Hanna Zielińska-Bliźniewska1, Waldemar Wagner3
1Allergology and Respiratory Rehabilitation Department, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
2NZOZ Allergology Center, Lodz, Poland
3Laboratory of Cellular Immunology, Institute of Medical Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, Poland
Adv Dermatol Allergol 2019; XXXVI (5): 538–543


Introduction: Histamine is the major mediator of IgE- and non-IgE-mediated allergic reactions upon allergen or
hapten contact. Reduced histamine degradation capacity was associated with atopic eczema as well as with nonimmunological
histamine intolerance. Higher blood serum histamine level concomitant with decreased intestinal
diamine oxidase activity were observed in patients with food allergy.

Aim: To evaluate the relationship between patients’ blood diamine oxidase (DAO) activity/histamine status and
their reactivity to time-resolved histamine skin prick test in respect to vulnerability to allergic diseases.
Material and methods: Fifty-three patients were examined with skin prick tests (SPT) and patch tests for suspected
presence of either IgE- or non-IgE-mediated allergy. All individuals were skin prick tested with histamine and the
resolution of the wheal was monitored for 50 min. Blood DAO activity and histamine concentration were measured
with a radio-extraction radioimmunoassay.

Results: Time-resolved histamine skin prick testing revealed presence of wheals which were 35% larger in diameter
in 47% of examined subjects at 20 min of the test. These patients exhibited significantly compromised time-course
wheal resolution (wheal ≥ 3 mm at 50 min) compared to a group of patients with the normal-rate of wheal resolution
(wheal = 0 mm at 50 min). Within a group of subjects exhibiting impaired wheal resolution, 61% of patients
were diagnosed allergic compared to 50% in a group of patients with a normal rate of wheal resolution. Finally,
allergic patients were characterized by a significantly lower DAO activity and higher histamine content compared
to healthy subjects.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that patients with IgE- or non-IgE-mediated allergy are likely to
have low DAO blood activity and may concomitantly suffer from histamine intolerance. Furthermore, our results
suggest that allergic patients are more likely to develop an excessive SPT reaction. Our results emphasize caution
in interpretation of the SPT results in allergic patients with diagnosed histamine intolerance or histamine/DAO
activity imbalance.