The atopy index inventory: A brief and simple tool to identify atopic patients

Federica Di Berardino, Diego Zanetti, Daniele Monzani, Bruno Rossaro, Giovanna Cantarella, Philippe Dejonckere, Lorenzo Pignataro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Atopy and ear, nose and throat (ENT) diseases are frequently associated; however, no clinical tool has been proposed so far to discriminate which patients could be atopic and therefore deserving of a further immunoallergological evaluation. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess and validate a set of dichotomous responses suitable for predicting the presence of atopy in adult patients. Methods: An 11-item questionnaire, i.e., the Atopy Index Inventory (AII), comprised of 4 questions regarding the clinical history for allergic disease and 7 questions evaluating the presence of the most frequent clinical signs affecting allergic patients, was developed and administered to 226 adult subjects (124 atopic subjects and 102 healthy, not atopic subjects). The atopic condition was proven by an immunoallergological evaluation according to the diagnostic criteria of the EAACI guidelines. Internal consistency and clinical validity were tested. Results: In healthy subjects, the first 4 variables of the AII returned a 100% correct response (all answered "no") and were defined as "decisive"responses. In the logistic regression analysis, when decisive items were negative, the atopic condition was confirmed when answering "yes"to at least 3 "probability"items (cut-off = 2.69). The difference in AII scores between allergic and healthy group was significant using the Mann-Whitney U test (p < 0.0001). The sensitivity and specificity of the AII were 0.97 and 0.91, respectively, with a true predictive value of 0.92 and a false predictive value of 0.97. The ROC curve showed an area of 0.94, with an OR of 0.88 (95% CI 0.87-0.97, p = 0.0001). The internal consistency as determined by the Cronbach α coefficient was 0.88. Conclusion: The AII has been proven to be a brief, simple and sufficiently accurate tool for screening ENT patients in search of atopic individuals and to allow their clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Allergy
  • Atopy
  • Ear, nose, and throat diseases
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Index
  • Inventory
  • Otolaryngological outpatients
  • Questionnaire
  • Rhinitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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