Allergic-type reactions experienced by patients on chronic hemodialysis are frequently reported in the literature, often related to compounds released during the hemodialysis sessions, in particular ethylene oxide (ETO). In these studies, dialysis patients seem to have higher values of IgE than those observed in a reference population. The aim of our work was to investigate IgE-related parameters of 126 dialysis patients in comparison with two control groups composed of healthy subjects and predialysis patients. IgE values were not significantly different in nonallergic dialysis patients, with a geometric mean (X) of 27.5 kU/1, when compared to healthy controls (X = 38 kU/1) and predialysis subjects (X = 40.7 kU/1). Higher values of IgE (X = 74.1 kU/1) were detected in allergic dialysis patients. However, only 3 patients, all without detectable antibodies against ETO, complained of anaphylactic symptoms during dialysis sessions in a 4-year surveillance period. At variance, 6 symptom-free patients carried IgE antibodies against ETO (range 0.7-15 kU/1), usually with high total IgE. Our results suggest a reduced frequency of hypersensitivity reactions during dialysis sessions. Furthermore, uremia does not alter IgE reactivity in the predialysis period or after long-term maintenance dialysis treatment.
- Ethylene oxide
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