Contact allergy to the preservative Kathon CG

by B Bjorkner, M Bruze, I Dahlquist, S Fregert, B Gruvberger, K Persson
Contact dermatitis ()


Of 976 patients routinely patch tested with Kathon CG (Rohm & Haas), 300 ppm, 43 (4.4%) gave a positive reaction. Of 170 patients routinely tested with Kathon CG 250 ppm, 10 (5.9%) gave a positive reaction. Out of 34 patients tested with serial dilutions of Kathon CG, 17 (50%) reacted to 100 ppm, 8 to 30 ppm and 2 to 10 ppm. The concentration of 1000 ppm of Kathon CG was irritant in some cases, but 300 ppm was not irritant. Of the 976 patients tested with Kathon CG 300 ppm, 8 (0.8%) showed a "flare-up" reaction, indicating patch test sensitization. Of the 170 tested with Kathon CG 250 ppm, 2 (1.2%) were sensitized. When the patch-test-sensitized patients were retested with serial dilutions, they showed the same pattern as the other patients. 13 sensitized patients were use tested and 7 (54%) gave responses. In the literature, Kathon CG 100 ppm is recommended as the routine patch test concentration. However, 50% of the sensitive persons may then be overlooked. In our clinics, Kathon CG has become the second most common contact sensitizer, but the sensitivity cannot be traced in all patients with clinically relevant allergy without an unacceptable risk of patch test sensitization.

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