Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug

Positive patch-test reactions to mixed dialkyl thioureas: cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 1994 to 2004.

PMID 18674454


Allergic contact dermatitis from thioureas is uncommon but may result from exposure to rubber, especially neoprene. To (1) describe the population with positive patch-test reactions to mixed dialkyl thioureas (MDTU) (ie, diethylthiourea and dibutylthiourea); (2) determine clinical and occupational relevance associated with reactions to MDTU and identify the most commonly related sources and occupations; and (3) examine the frequency of co-reacting allergens in MDTU-positive patients. A retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data of 22,025 patients patch-tested by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group between 1994 and 2004. Of 21,898 patients tested with MDTU, 225 (1.0%) had positive reactions; of these, 173 (76.9%) were currently relevant and 29 (17.1%) were occupationally relevant. Patients positive to MDTU were 2.6 times more likely to have foot involvement than patients with positive reactions to other allergens (p < .0001). Footwear was the most commonly identified source overall (20.0%) whereas gloves were the most common occupational source. Of the 173 patients with currently relevant MDTU reactions, 24.9% also reacted to another rubber allergen. Current clinical relevance of reactions to MDTU was high; occupational relevance was less frequent. Patch tests with common rubber allergens (carbamates, thiurams, and mercaptobenzothiazole) may fail to detect many cases of thiourea-induced rubber allergic contact dermatitis.

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N,N′-Dibutylthiourea, 97%