Hypersensitivity to tobacco glycoprotein in human peripheral vascular disease.
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One hundred and sixty-four patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) were skin tested with a purified tobacco glycoprotein (TGP). A basophil degranulation test (BDT) was also performed to assess in vitro reactivity to TGP. Immediate skin test hypersensitivity to TGP was found in 18 of 164 (11%) patients with radiologically demonstrable PVD. BDT was positive in 25/42 (60%) smokers as opposed to 6/23 (24%) nonsmokers (p less than 0.01). Twenty-one of 49 (43%) skin test-negative and 10/11 (91%) skin test-positive patients wih PVD had a positive BDT (p less than 0.02). Only 1/34 (3%) patients with negative BDT had a positive skin test. Skin test-positive patients had significantly higher BDT at 0.01 and 0.001 microgram/ml TGP in vitro compared to skin test-negative patients (p less than 0.01). When PVD was graded by arteriography, one of 11 patients with "mild," 11/87 with "moderate" and 4/20 with "severe" PVD were skin test-positive to TGP (p less than 0.01 "mild" vs "moderate"; p less than 0.05 "mild" vs. "severe"). These differences could not be attributed to age, sex, atopy or smoking status. Reactivity to TGP exists in a proportion of patients with PVD and may be causally related in such cases to the development of atherosclerotic vascular disease.
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