Clinical evaluation of CAP System and RAST in the measurement of specific IgE

E. A. Pastorello, C. Incorvaia, V. Pravettoni, A. Marelli, L. Farioli, M. Ghezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the diagnostic value of a new in vitro test. Pharmacia CAP System (Pharmacia Diagnostics AB, Uppsala, Sweden), for the quantitative measurement of allergen-specific IgE antibodies by comparison with RAST in 2 groups of patients, 71 atopic and 48 non-atopic. In the last 20 years RAST has supplied a good diagnostic tool, but this test presents some problems, the main one being sensitivity. The new test has a solid phase able to bind even very small amounts of specific IgE and an anti-IgE tracer with very low cross-reactivity with other immunoglobulins, thus presenting more favourable conditions. From the analysis of our results, Pharmacia CAP System gave higher sensitivity (94% compared to 88% of RAST) with no loss of specificity (96% for both tests). The reliability of these results is ensured by the proper selection of patients who were all suffering from pollinosis and were clinically diagnosed as certainly hypersensitive to a single pollen. A positive trend was found between severity of asthma and levels of specific IgE for timothy. Pharmacia CAP System appears to identify a larger number of atopic patients than RAST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-466
Number of pages4
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • IgE antibodies
  • Phadebas RAST
  • Pharmacia CAP System
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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