To the Editor:—
We found much interest in Dr. Frank Perlman's experience (JAMA192:64-65 [April 5] 1965) with penicilloyl-polylysine as a test for immediate sensitivity to penicillin, as compared with potassium penicillin G. We have, largely through references of many other physicians, been able to study 29 cases which we would accept as examples of anaphylactic shock from penicillin. With one exception, these patients had dyspnea, angio-edema, urticaria, and marked hypotension. The one exception had only urticaria occurring some 30 minutes after the injection, with spontaneous recovery except for some oral antihistaminic. This patient did show a positive reaction, but a weak one, to a scratch test for penicillin G. Only one of the above failed to show an immediate whealing response and erythema to a scratch test with penicillin G, 10,000 units per cubic centimeter. We are now doubting whether the history given in this case was accurate.