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CSD skin test

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CSD skin test
CSD skin test

Alternative Names    Return to top

Cat scratch disease skin test

Definition    Return to top

The CSD skin test was once used to to help diagnose cat scratch disease.

The test is virtually no longer used and not recommended. Today, better tests, such as the EIA test, are available to diagnose cat scratch disease.

How the Test is Performed    Return to top

The test site (an area with hair, usually the forearm) is cleansed. An antigen to cat scratch disease is injected just under the skin. After 48 - 72 hours, a health care provider will check the injection site to determine whether if your body has reacted to the substance.

How to Prepare for the Test    Return to top

There is no special preparation. People with dermatitis or other skin irritations should have the test performed on an area of skin where no irritation is present.

How the Test Will Feel    Return to top

When the antigen is injected, you may feel a stinging sensation where the needle is inserted. After the reaction begins, the area may itch or burn.

Why the Test is Performed    Return to top

This test was once used to diagnose cat scratch disease, before Bartonella henselae, the bacteria that causes CSD, was identified.

Normal Results    Return to top

Inflammation around the injection site should be less than 5 millimeters wide.

What Abnormal Results Mean    Return to top

An inflammation zone of greater than 5 millimeters may suggest that you have been infected with cat scratch disease recently or in the past.

Risks    Return to top

Considerations    Return to top

Although this test has historical value, there are better tests available for the diagnosis of CSD. In addition, the CSD antigen is not widely available and carries the potential risk of transmitting other harmful substances such as viruses.

Update Date: 6/25/2007

Updated by: Arnold L. Lentnek, MD, Division of Infectious Disease, Kennestone Hospital,Marietta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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