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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An attempt to improve diagnostics of contact allergy due to epoxy resin systems. First results of the multicentre study EPOX 2002.

Epoxy resin systems (ERSs) are a frequent cause of occupational allergic contact dermatitis. Sensitization occurs not only to the resins, but also to hardeners and reactive diluents. However, only a fraction of the ERS components currently in use are available for patch testing. With the multicentre study EPOX 2002, we attempted to improve diagnostics in this field by patch testing with components currently used in ERSs. During the first study period (October 2002 to July 2003), in addition to commercially available ERS patch test substances, 16 study substances (1 resin, 9 hardeners and 6 reactive diluents) were patch tested in 70 patients with suspected contact allergy due to ERSs and 22 patients with a prior positive patch test reaction to epoxy resin (ER) in the standard series. Most frequently, allergic reactions to ER based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A and F were observed (55.2% and 43.7%, respectively). Agreement between positive reactions to both resins, which can be explained by immunological cross-sensitization and/or coexposure, was substantial [Cohen's kappa 0.65 (95% CI: 0.49-0.80)]. Among the reactive diluents, 1,6-hexanediol diglycidyl ether (1,6-HDDGE) and 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (1,4-BDDGE) were the most frequent allergens, with 19.5% and 18.4% positive reactions, respectively. Although agreement between positive reactions to 1,6-HDDGE and 1,4-BDDGE was even better than with the 2 resins, the sample size is considered too small to decide reliably whether 1,6-HDDGE alone could serve as a marker allergen for both. Allergic reactions to p-tert-butylphenyl glycidyl ether and to phenyl glycidyl ether (PGE) occurred in 11.5% of the patients tested, with only moderate agreement. All patients positive to cresyl glycidyl ether (6.8%) also reacted to PGE. Of the hardeners tested, m-xylylene diamine was the most frequent allergen (13.8%), followed by isophorone diamine (5.7%). No reactions were observed to several substances, the test concentration of which may have been too low and will be increased in the future.[1]


  1. An attempt to improve diagnostics of contact allergy due to epoxy resin systems. First results of the multicentre study EPOX 2002. Geier, J., Lessmann, H., Hillen, U., Jappe, U., Dickel, H., Koch, P., Frosch, P.J., Schnuch, A., Uter, W. Contact Derm. (2004) [Pubmed]
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