PETER J. FELL, M.D. (Lond.),
Director, Oxford Allergy Centre
JONATHAN BROSTOFF, M.A., D.M., D.Sc., FRCP, FRCPath
Dept. of Immunology University College & Middlesex School of Medicine, London
MARK J. PASULA, Ph.D.
Research Director, AMTL Corp., Miami, FL
Presented at the 45th Annual Congress of the American College of Allergy and Immunology, Los Angeles, CA: November 12-16, 1988 (published -Annals of Allergy)
The Alcat Test reproducibly measures volumetric shifts in the white blood cells upon incubation with antigens. This study was designed to assess the degree of correlation between Alcat Test and the results of oral DBC with the same foods. Nineteen symptomatic patients (IBS, atopic eczema, allergic rhinitis, or migraine headaches) with evidence of food sensitivity were Alcat tested to each of 50 food extracts. Each subject was given diary cards to score (0-4) symptoms daily over an 8 week period. In the first 2 weeks, all Alcat Test positive foods plus 3 Alcat Test negative foods were eliminated from the diet to determine the degree of symptom remission possible. In each of the subsequent 6 weeks, a new food was introduced randomly in DBC, several portions eaten daily for the week; three of the foods were Alcat Test positive and 3 were Alcat Test negative.
Symptom scores for each week were averaged and compared; any increase exceeding 40% over the second baseline week or the preceding DBC week was considered a positive food challenge. For the 58 Alcat Test positive foods selected from the 19 subjects, 46 were positive on DBC (79.3%) and 12 were negative. Of the 56 Alcat Test negative foods, 49 were also negative by DBC (87.5%) and 7 were positive. Overall correlation between the Alcat Test and DBC was 83.4%, suggesting that the Alcat Test was quite reliable in identifying unsafe foods in these sensitive subjects.