Background. Currently, patients affected by allergic pathologies are detected through physical examination and prick test, followed by the measurement of specific IgE levels in serum, for confirmation. In many cases however, a search for specific IgEs is the first diagnostic approach used. In this case, a positive result needs careful subsequent evaluation, involving clinical examination and the measurement of serum IgE levels. To understand what clinical and anamnestic data could be useful for diagnosis, we assessed the relationships between allergic pathologies and age, gender and familiarity. We also studied the correlation between sensitivity to various allergens and the presence of allergic sympthoms. Methods. The levels of specific IgEs against common groups of allergens were measured for 400 patients having a supposed allergy. The chi-square test was then used to assess the association between positive IgEs and the following anamnestic and clinical parameters: age, gender, familiarity and symptoms, subdivided into 4 groups (oculus-conjunctivitis, respiratory symptoms, cutaneous symptoms and shock). The same approach was also used to study the associations between allergic symptoms and the levels of IgEs, arbitrarily subdivided into high, medium and low titer. Results. We found a significant association between age and three allergens (food, graminaceae and tree), and between male gender and sensitivity to hymenoptera venoms. For clinical symptoms, we found that: (i) patients with respiratory symptoms are sensitive to almost all allergens except hymenoptera venoms; (ii) cutaneous symptoms are associated with positivity for food; (iii) anaphylactic shock only correlates with hymenoptera venoms; (iv) patients with oculus-conjunctivitis are predominantly sensitive to graminaceae. Finally, we found that there is no significant difference in the correlation between symptoms and high versus low IgE titer, except for patients with shock. Conclusions. The statistically significant associations between the various anamnestic and clinical parameters and specific allergen sensitivity show that clinical anamnesis is essential to guide the specific IgE investigation and to help in the correct evaluation of the observed IgE levels. In fact, even low IgE levels in patients with specific symptoms provide a positive evidence for the supposed diagnosis.
|Translated title of the contribution||The association between symptom and the search for specific IgEs in the allergic patients|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, medical
- Medical Laboratory Technology