Abstract Number: 41

How good is the Australian Baseline Series at diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis?

K. Dear, R. Nixon

Meeting: 2021 Dermcoll

Session Information

Date: -

Session Title: Contact Dermatitis

Session Time: -

Introduction: Patch testing is the gold standard for accu- rately diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). In
2002, the Australian Baseline series (ABS) was initiated based on the most frequent and significant allergens in our population.
Patients at our tertiary referral centre are patch tested with the ABS, additional series and with their
own products. This study aimed to assess how well the ABS performed in detecting allergens alone.

Methods: Patients patch tested between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2018 with a resulting diagnosis of ACD were identified. Case notes were reviewed and patients were classified as to whether the ABS identified all relevant allergens, only some relevant allergens, or none of the relevant allergens.

Results: All relevant allergens were identified from the ABS in nearly two thirds of cases (63%). In 23% of cases, allergens were identified from the ABS as well as from additional series or via patients’ own products. In a small number of cases (14%), allergens were only detected from additional series or by testing with patients’ own products. Overall, the ABS detected at least one relevant allergen in
86% of cases, however using the ABS alone has the poten- tial to miss a relevant reaction in 37% of cases.

Conclusion: Compared with the efficacy of other baseline series, the ABS is a useful screening series to identify patients with ACD. However, patients should continue to be tested with additional series and their own products in order to ensure that all relevant allergens are identified.


1. Toholka R, Wang YS, Tate B, Tam M, Cahill J, Palmer A, Nixon R. The first Australian Baseline Series: Recommendations for patch testing in suspected contact dermatitis. Australasian Jour- nal of Dermatology. 2015 May;56(2):107–15.