Little is known about the mechanism of desensitization in hypersensitivity drug reactions.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of drug desensitization on some cytokine levels in patients desensitized for drug hypersensitivity reactions.
Patients with a hypersensitivity reaction to any drug for whom desensitization was planned with the culprit drug, patients who could tolerate the same drugs and healthy subjects who were not exposed to these drugs were enrolled. Bead-based Milliplex MAP multiplex technology was used to determine interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, interferon-γ and IL-10 levels in the sera of the subjects as a baseline and 24 hours after desensitization had been completed in the patients.
A total of 26 patients (16 female [61.5%]; mean age 48.46 ± 15.97 years old), 10 control patients (5 female [50%]; mean age 47.4 ± 15.4 years old) and 5 healthy subjects (3 female [60%]; mean age 34.2 ± 5.6 years old) were enrolled. Four of the 26 patients did not tolerate the procedure and were grouped as the 'unsuccessful desensitization group' whereas 22 patients successfully completed the procedure and formed the 'successful desensitization group.' Baseline cytokine levels in the 3 groups were not statistically different. Postdesensitization IL-10 levels in the successful desensitization group were significantly higher than their initial levels (p = 0.005) whereas none of the cytokine levels significantly changed in the unsuccessful desensitization group. The rise in IL-10 levels was greater in chemotherapeutic desensitizations when compared to other drugs (p = 0.006).
Successful desensitization independent of the hypersensitivity reaction type seems to be related to the increase of IL-10.