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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 687532, 7 pages
Clinical Study

In Vitro Release of Interferon-Gamma from Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes in Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions

1Department of Dermatology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 64239, Israel
2School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Received 16 February 2012; Accepted 23 March 2012

Academic Editor: Enrico Maggi

Copyright © 2012 Ilan Goldberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Cutaneous drug reactions are common but diagnostically challenging due to phenotypic heterogeneity and simultaneous exposure to multiple drugs. These limitations prompted the development of diagnostic tests. Aims. To evaluate the performance of an in vitro assay measuring interferon-gamma release from patients’ lymphocytes in the presence of causative drugs for the diagnosis of drug reactions. Methods. Mononuclear cells derived from patients were incubated with and without suspected drugs, and increment of interferon-gamma levels was measured by ELISA. We performed a telephonic survey to evaluate the effect of stopping the drugs incriminated by the assay on cutaneous manifestations. Results. We assessed 272 patients who used 1035 medications. When assessed against the questionnaire data collected at least 6 months after stopping the causative drug, sensitivity was found to be 83.61% and specificity 92.67%. Likelihood ratio for a positive test is 11.40 and for a negative test 0.18. Positive predictive value is 75.37% and negative predictive value is 95.47%. The test was found to perform significantly better in females and in older patients. Conclusions. Interferon-gamma release test is a useful adjunct tool in the diagnosis of cutaneous drug reactions.