Objective: The study's objective was 2-fold: first, to evaluate the potential cross-reactivity between Bis-A epoxy resins and epoxy acrylates and second, to study the cross reactivity between Bis-A epoxy resins and newer Bis-F epoxy resins in patients with allergic contact dermatitis to epoxy resins and had positive patch test to the standard epoxy resin based on bisphenol A. Methods: Forty-one patients were patch tested to 23 chemicals including epoxy acrylates, Bis-A epoxy resins, and Bis-F epoxy resins, as well as reactive diluents and nonbisphenol epoxy resins. Questions concerning exposure to epoxy resins, occupational history, and problems with dental work were completed. Results: All patients included in the study had positive reactions to the standard Bis-A epoxy resin. Twenty percent (8 of 41) of the patients reacted to at least one of the epoxy acrylates; the most common reaction was to Bis-GMA. Five of 8 patients who reacted to the epoxy acrylates had dental work, but only one patient had problems from her dental work. Six of 8 patients (75%) who reacted to epoxy resins and epoxy acrylates did not react to aliphatic acrylates. Thirty-two percent (13 of 41) reacted to tosylamide epoxy resin, and none reacted to triglycidyl isocyanurate resin. In addition, all patients (100%) had positive reactions to at least one of the Bis-F epoxy resins that were tested. Conclusions: Most patients with sensitivity to Bis-A epoxy resins do not cross-react with epoxy acrylates. Patients with positive patch test reactions to epoxy acrylates used in dentistry usually do not have symptoms from their dental work. To our knowledge, this is the largest series of patients with sensitivity to the standard Bis-A epoxy resin that have been patch tested with the more recently introduced Bis-F epoxy resins. There is significant cross-reactivity between Bis-A and Bis-F epoxy resins, which can be explained by their structural similarity.
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