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BACKGROUND: Cashew is a common cause of tree nut allergy in children. To date there have been few studies of diagnostic tests for cashew allergy, and positive predictive values (PPVs) for cashew as well as other tree nuts are largely extrapolated from studies of peanut allergy. How relevant these cutoffs are for cashew has not been formally explored. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to establish skin prick test (SPT) wheal sizes that correlated to 95% PPV for a positive food challenge for cashew. METHODS: We included all cashew oral food challenges (OFCs) conducted as part of the HealthNuts (n = 108; age, 4-6 years) and SchoolNuts (n = 37; age, 10-14 years) studies, both recruited from the community (population cohort). A second cohort of all cashew OFCs conducted at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) allergy center (n = 343) (2011-2016) and a private allergy clinic based at RCH (n = 43) was included via electronic medical record review (clinic cohort). The 95% PPV for cashew SPT was calculated for both cohorts. RESULTS: Among the population cohort (n = 145), 62% of cashew OFCs were positive compared with 20% of the clinic cohort (n = 386). The SPT cutoff for 95% PPV derived from the population cohort was 10 mm (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.5-12.0). For the clinic cohort, the 95% PPV was 14 mm (95% CI, 9.5-unknown). An SPT wheal size of 8 mm had a PPV of 89% (95% CI, 79-95) in the population cohort and 62% (95% CI, 45-78) in the clinic cohort. CONCLUSION: A higher SPT wheal size may be more appropriate than the commonly used 8 mm cutoff to guide clinical decisions around when to perform OFC for cashew.

Original publication




Journal article


J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract

Publication Date



Cashew allergy, Food allergy, Population, Predictive value of tests, Skin prick test, Tree nut allergy