Monitoring of peanut-allergic patients with peanut-specific IgE
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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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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