RAST or skin prick testing?


I need to have my son tested for additional food allergies and am curious which type of testing is best, RAST or skin prick. Thanks!

On Jul 14, 2000

Let me say up front that I don't have the answer, only more questions. There are many threads on these boards--search on RAST. I have also searched the web and not come up with anything definitive.

One thing I read (see links, and I don't know how accurate these are) says that RAST is a measure of risk--how much risk you have of having an allergic reaction. Skin test is an indication of what can happen inside the body when exposed to an allergen. Seems that both tests have false positives and false negatives. Neither can tell you the severity of a reaction. I don't know if a higher RAST score means you will react to a smaller amount of allergen, or if it means you will more likely react to the allergen. It's very frustrating that there don't seem to be solid answers.

If anyone knows more, or can point to a link, please do so. I still wonder about my son's positive skin test. The allergist at first thought he was neg to peanuts but pos to pecans, then realized she had it mixed up and it was the other way around (there was only one neg in the series of 10 pricks). So I still wonder if it's really true. Plus with false negs possible and no history of reaction, I want more info. [url="http://www.allernet.com/questions/q9.asp"]http://www.allernet.com/questions/q9.asp[/url] [url="http://www.labcorp.com/datasets/labcorp/html/chapter/mono/al002600.htm#al002600"]http://www.labcorp.com/datasets/labcorp/html/chapter/mono/al002600.htm#al002600[/url]