Indexed with PubMed and Science Citation Index (E) 
Users online: 1069 
     Home | Feedback | Login 
About Current Issue Archive Ahead of print Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe What's New Contact  
  Navigate here 
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
 Resource links
   Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
   Article in PDF (158 KB)
   Citation Manager
   Access Statistics
   Reader Comments
   Email Alert *
   Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded390    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2008  |  Volume : 74  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 496-497

Autologous serum skin test v/s autologous plasma skin test

Consultant Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
K V Godse
Shree Skin Centre, 22, L market, Sector 8, Nerul, Navi Mumbai - 400 706
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.44314

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Godse K V. Autologous serum skin test v/s autologous plasma skin test. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2008;74:496-7

How to cite this URL:
Godse K V. Autologous serum skin test v/s autologous plasma skin test. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2020 Nov 29];74:496-7. Available from:


Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) is a rather common skin disorder characterized by the recurrent eruption of short-lived wheals accompanied by redness and itching for at least 6 weeks. [1] In 25% to 60% of patients of chronic urticaria, the results of autologous serum skin test are positive. [1],[2],[3],[4] About 30% to 50% of patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria have circulating histamine-releasing autoantibodies to the high-affinity IgE receptor Fc RI on basophils and mast cells or, less commonly, antibodies to IgE. [4] The term autoimmune urticaria is increasingly being accepted for this subgroup of patients. The autologous serum skin test (ASST) is currently the best in vivo clinical test for detection of in vitro basophil histamine-releasing activity. [5] One study reports that APST is positive in more patients with chronic urticaria than ASST. [6]

The aim of the current study was to perform APST, i.e., investigate skin autoreactivity by using plasma anticoagulated with substances other than heparin, and compare it with ASST in patients with CIU.

Thirty consecutive consenting adult patients (male:female::13:17; age range, 18-60 years; mean age, 38.9 years; range of duration of urticaria, 2 months to 3 years) with CIU, seen at a private skin clinic in Navi Mumbai, India, were studied. CIU was diagnosed on the basis of the appearance of continuous or recurrent hives with or without angioedema for more than 6 weeks. [1] Patients with physical urticaria were excluded. Pregnant and lactating mothers were excluded.

After antihistamine treatment (cetirizine 10 mg or fexofenadine180 mg or hydroxyzine 25 mg daily in all cases) had been stopped for at least 3 days, all patients underwent intradermal testing with 0.05 ml of both sterile autologous serum (ASST) and plasma (APST), and saline as negative control. All patients underwent intradermal test with sodium citrate-anticoagulated plasma (0.125 mol/L of sodium citrate). Serum and plasma samples were centrifuged after 5 minutes at 2500 rpm for 5 minutes and immediately used for intradermal tests. For all intradermal tests (serum, plasma, and negative control), readings were taken at 30 minutes; only an unequivocal wheal-and-flare reaction with a wheal diameter of at least 1.5 mm greater than control was taken as a positive test result.

No patient reacted to the intradermal injection of saline. Altogether, 14 (46%) of 30 patients scored positive on ASST. Test with plasma also showed the same, 14 of 30, positive results. In 1 patient with severe urticaria, plasma-induced wheal was greater than serum-induced wheal by 3 mm. The wheal-and-flare area induced by autologous serum and plasma was equivalent in other 13 cases. Positive group had 4 males and 10 females. Duration of urticaria was more than 3 months in all positive cases.

A study from Italy showed 61 (86%) of 71 patients scored positive on APST-Na citrate. The skin test with APST-Na citrate was positive in 21 (70%) of 30 patients who scored negative on ASST and in 40 (98%) of 41 ASST-positive patients. In ASST-positive patients, the mean diameter of the wheal-and-flare area induced by autologous plasma exceeded that of the wheal-and-flare area induced by autologous serum in 21 of 41 cases; in 19 cases, the wheal-and-flare area induced by autologous serum and plasma was equivalent, whereas in 1 ASST positive case, the APST was negative. The same study also found potassium citrate plasma induced nonspecific reactions and was no longer used to detect patients' autoreactivity.

Asero showed that in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), plasma showed signs of thrombin generation and autologous plasma skin tests score positive in as many as 95% of cases. The extrinsic pathway of clotting cascade is activated in CIU. Disease severity is associated with the activation of the coagulation cascade. [7] Others have confirmed the findings of the earlier studies, suggesting that systemic fibrinolysis may not be involved in chronic urticaria. [8]

However, larger studies are required to confirm these findings and to decide whether plasma or serum should be used for the intradermal test.

  References Top

1.Greaves M. Chronic urticaria. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;105:664-72.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
2.Grattan CE, Wallington TB, Warin RP, Kennedy CT, Bradfield JW. A serological mediator in chronic idiopathic urticaria: A clinical, immunological and histological evaluation. Br J Dermatol 1986;114:583-90.   Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Gruber BL, Baeza ML, Marchese MJ, Agnello V, Kaplan AP. Prevalence and functional role of anti-IgE autoantibodies in urticarial syndromes. J Invest Dermatol 1988;90:213-7.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Godse KV. Autologous serum skin test in chronic idiopathic urticaria. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2004;70:283-4.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal
5.Grattan CE, Sabroe RA, Greaves MW. Chronic urticaria. J Am Acad Dermatol 2002;46:645-57.   Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
6.Asero R, Tedeschi A, Riboldi P, Cugno P. Plasma of patients with chronic urticaria shows signs of thrombin generation, and its intradermal injection causes wheal-and-flare reactions much more frequently than autologous serum. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;117:1113-7.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Asero R, Tedeschi A, Coppola R, Griffini S, Paparella P, Riboldi P, et al . Activation of the tissue factor pathway of blood coagulation in patients with chronic urticaria. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;119:705-10.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
8.Kasperska-Zajac A, Brzoza Z, Rogala B. Blood urokinase plasminogen activator system in chronic urticaria. Arch Dermatol Res 2007;298:409-11.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]

This article has been cited by
1 Autologous Serum Skin Test versus Autologous Plasma Skin Test in Patients with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria
Aysegul Alpay,Nilgün Solak Tekin,Ishak Özel Tekin,H. Cevdet Altinyazar,Rafet Koca,Saniye Çinar
Dermatology Research and Practice. 2013; 2013: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Autologous plasma and serum skin test in chronic urticaria : Correspondence
R. Asero, M. Cugno, A. Tedeschi
British Journal of Dermatology. 2012; : no
[VIEW] | [DOI]
3 Autologous serum skin test vs autologous plasma skin test in patients with chronic urticaria: Evaluation of reproducibility, sensitivity and specificity and relationship with disease activity, quality of life and anti-thyroid antibodies
Kocatürk, E., Kavala, M., Kural, E., Sarigul, S., Zindanci, I.
European Journal of Dermatology. 2011; 21(3): 339-343


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow