Use of Specific IgE and Skin Prick Test to Determine Clinical Reaction Severity

Von Ta; Weldon, Brittany; Yu, Grace; Humblet, Olivier; Neale-May, Susan; Nadeau, Kari
January 2012
British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research;2012, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p410
Academic Journal
Aims: To determine whether specific IgE and skin prick test correlate better in predicting reaction severity during a double-blinded placebo controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) for egg, milk, and multiple tree nut allergens. Study design: Prospective study. Place and Duration of Study: Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, August 2009 and ongoing. Methodology: We examined the reaction severity of twenty-four subjects to nine possible food allergens: milk, egg, almond, cashew, hazelnut, peanut, sesame, pecan and walnut. Specific IgE and SPT were performed before each DBPCFC. DBPCFC results were classified into mild (1), moderate (2), or severe (3) reactions using a modified Bock's criteria. Results: Twenty four subjects underwent a total of 80 DBPCFC. Eighty percent of all DBPCFCs resulted in a positive reaction. A majority, 71%, were classified as mild. No reactions occurred with a SPT of zero mm while three reactions occurred with a negative specific IgE. All reactions were reversible with medication. Conclusion: These data suggest that SPT and specific IgE levels are not associated with reaction severity (p<0.64 and 0.27, respectively). We also found that combining specific IgE and SPT improved specificity but did not help to achieve clinically useful sensitivity. For instance, an SPT > 5mm had a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 50%. Combining SPT > 5mm and IgE > 7 resulted in a reduced sensitivity of 64%. Unexpectedly, a history of anaphylaxis 70% (n=17) was not predictive of anaphylaxis on challenge 4% (n=2).


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