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Ragweed Skin Test Responsiveness Correlates with Specific Immunoglobulin E Levels

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Evaluation for allergic rhinitis requires an objective measure of atopy. Serum eosinophils, total and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), and skin testing have been used as this measure. The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between in vitro allergy tests and in vivo responsiveness. We compared eosinophil counts, total IgE, and the specific IgE radioallergosorbent test (RAST) measurements to end point skin test titrations with ragweed. Forty subjects ≥18 years of age with at least a 2-year history of moderate to severe ragweed-allergic rhinitis and a positive skin-prick test to ragweed participated in this study with 33 subjects having data for all measurements. End point skin tests were performed by intradermal injection of 0.03 mL of threefold dilutions of standardized short ragweed extract into the forearm. Ragweed-specific IgE was significantly correlated to end point wheal and erythema concentrations. The results were similar whether the end point wheal (r = −0.714; p < 0.001) or erythema (r = −0.862; p < 0.001) concentration was used, and the correlation between these two values was significant (r = 0.97; p < 0.001). However, 8 of 33 subjects had a negative specific IgE RAST value for ragweed. There was a significant relationship between ragweed-specific IgE and total IgE (r = 0.72; p < 0.01). No significant correlations were found between blood eosinophils and either total IgE, ragweed-specific IgE, and end point wheal or erythema concentrations. Skin test responsiveness to ragweed correlated with in vitro ragweed-specific IgE levels, but these tests are not equivalent indicators of the degree of IgE-mediated sensitivity.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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