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CSD skin test

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

The test is rarely used today and is not recommended. There are better methods, such as antibody detection by the EIA test, available to diagnose cat scratch disease.

  • Alternative Names

    Cat scratch disease skin test

  • How the test is performed

    The test site (an area with hair, usually the forearm) is cleansed. An antigen related to the bacteria that cuase 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 your body has reacted to the substance.

  • How to prepare for the test

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

  • How the test will feel

    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

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

  • Normal Values

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

    Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  • What abnormal results mean

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

  • What the risks are
    • Allergic reaction, including itching and hives (rare)
    • Possible spread of viruses to patient
  • Special considerations

    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.

    This skin test is not widely available, is not standardized, and is NOT approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • References
    Hoesley CJ, Relman DA. Disease caused by Bartonella species. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 336.

Review Date: 5/30/2009

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at the Family Medical Center in Paris Photo Christie Clinic at the Family Medical Center in Paris
727 East Court Street Paris, IL 61944 Dermatology: 366-1248; Vein and Vascular: 366-2670
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101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
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1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
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1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
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209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
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1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 Main Number: (217) 586-6600 Convenient Care: (217)366-8130
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300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
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1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
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109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
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2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
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1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
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800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
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2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
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1109 B North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
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105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
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1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
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1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
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611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
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200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Savoy Photo Christie Clinic in Savoy
501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
Christie Clinic on West Park Street
1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
Christie Clinic in Monticello
107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352
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100 South Water Street Suite 103 Decatur, IL 62523 217-362-0661- telephone
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3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611