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Monitoring of peanut-allergic patients with peanut-specific IgE

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Peanut allergy affects 1% of the population. Double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges are gold standard for diagnosis. Serum peanut-specific IgE (PN-IgE) is used in clinical practice as an additional diagnostic and monitoring tool. The purpose of this study was to characterize the clinical features of a peanut-allergic patient's cohort and determine the optimum frequency of measuring PN-IgE to predict the outcome of future peanut challenges. Retrospective chart review was performed of peanut-allergic patients followed up and serially tested for PN-IgE with a qualitative antibody fluorescent-enzyme immunoassay performed at the Immunology Laboratory, London Health Sciences Center, from 1997 to 2004. One hundred eighteen patients (median age at first reaction to peanut, 1.5 years; median baseline PN-IgE, 18.75) were reviewed. Younger age at first reaction and first PN-IgE measurement predicted slower decline of PN-IgE values (p < 0.001 and p = 0.044). At 2 and 5 years post–initial measurement, 12.9 and 66%, respectively, of all patients had a significant decrease of PN-IgE values. Twenty percent of the patients experienced elevation of PN-IgE levels during follow-up. For most patients with significant history of reaction to peanuts and positive skin-prick test, it is probably adequate to measure serum PN-IgE levels every 3–5 years to screen for development of tolerance and predict the outcome of future peanut challenges. More frequent measurements might be considered in older patients with lower initial PN-IgE levels.
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Keywords: Long-term follow up; monitoring; natural history; oral challenge; peanut allergy; peanut tolerance; peanut-specific IgE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • 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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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