Clinical Aspects of Allergic Disease: Evaluation of Devices for Skin Prick Testing

Nelson, Lahr, Buchmeier and McCormick, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 101, February 1998.

"The reproducibility of the histamine reactions expressed as the standard deviation also revealed significant differences among devices. The variability of the Multi-Test [II] device was significantly less than that of the smallpox needle or the Duotip and DermaPIK by either method as well as the Quintest."

Multi-Test II had the lowest variability of all the devices used (CV = 12.7), including the following:
Multi-Test II (Avg. combined arm and back) 12.7
Quintest (Avg. combined arm and back) 26.4
Smallpox needle (prick) 22.0
DermaPIK, prick 19.2
DermaPIK, twist 16.9

This study found DermaPIK twist to be traumatic to the skin, evoking substantial non-specific irritant response. DermaPIK twist had low specificity (35%) at a 3 mm wheal cutoff. Every other method, including DermaPIK prick, was at least 95% specific at a 3 mm level. Sensitivity and specificity for Multi-Test II was 100% and 97.5% respectively.