Objectives. To validate the use of the Phadiatop test as a predictor of allergy-associated respiratory tract symptoms (RTS) in trail runners.
Methods. The incidence of self-reported RTS was documented in 16 runners for 31 days and related to the Phadiatop status and circulating markers of allergic responses (changes in concentrations of serum IgE (sIgE), differential leucocyte counts) at 8 time points before, during and after a 3-day 95 km trail run.
Results. Twelve (75%) athletes, of whom 7 (58%) were Phadiatoppositive, presented with post-race RTS. A peak sIgE concentration >100 IU/ml accompanied RTS in only 4 (57%) of the symptomatic Phadiatop-positive subjects. There was no significant difference between the eosinophil and basophil concentrations of the positive and negative groups (p>0.05). One Phadiatop-negative subject presented with RTS as well as a peak sIgE concentration >100 IU/ml.
Conclusion. The Phadiatop assay does not accurately predict the development of post-exercise RTS of allergic origin in trail runners.
Neuropathic pain (NeuP) is challenging to diagnose and manage, despite ongoing improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Many patients do not respond satisfactorily to existing treatments. There are no published guidelines for diagnosis or management of NeuP in South Africa. A multidisciplinary expert panel critically reviewed available evidence to provide consensus recommendations for diagnosis and management of NeuP in South Africa. Following accurate diagnosis of NeuP, pregabalin, gabapentin, low-dose tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (duloxetine and venlafaxine) are all recommended as first-line options for the treatment of peripheral NeuP. If the response is insufficient after 2 - 4 weeks, the recommended next step is to switch to a different class, or combine different classes of agent. Opioids should be reserved for use later in the treatment pathway, if switching drugs and combination therapy fails. For central NeuP, pregabalin or amitriptyline are recommended as first-line agents. Companion treatments (cognitive behavioural therapy and physical therapy) should be administered as part of a multidisciplinary approach. Dorsal root entry zone rhizotomy (DREZ) is not recommended to treat NeuP. Given the large population of HIV / AIDS patients in South Africa, and the paucity of positive efficacy data for its management, research in the form of randomised controlled trials in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) must be prioritised in this country.