The determination of specific IgE antibodies is used in the diagnosis of allergic diseases as well as in the identification of allergens responsible for allergies and anaphylactic reactions.
The determination of specific IgE antibodies is also used to confirm sensitization prior to initiating immunotherapy as well as to investigate allergic reactions to specific allergens such as insect poisons and drugs.
- Specific allergen: Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
- Allergen code: F215
- Allergen group: Foods
The clinical manifestations of immediate type hypersensitivity (allergy) are caused by the release of certain substances such as histamine, leukotrienes and prostaglandins from immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitized cells (mast cells and basophils) upon interaction with the allergen. A blood test for the presence of specific IgE antibodies provides an indication of the immune response to the specific allergen.
The allergens selected for the test depend on the age of the patient, the history of exposure to specific allergens, the time of year as well as the clinical manifestations. In people with a predisposition to allergic disease, the sequence of sensitization and clinical manifestations are usually as follows: eczema and respiratory manifestations (rhinitis and bronchospasm) in infants and children under 5 years due to food allergies (usually milk, eggs and proteins), followed by respiratory manifestations (rhinitis and asthma) in older children and adults due to sensitivity to inhaled allergens (usually dust mites, mold, and pollen).
The presence of specific IgE antibodies in the serum (class 2 or higher) indicates an increased likelihood of allergic disease and identifies allergens that may be responsible for the onset of signs and symptoms of an allergy.
Patients who do not display clinically significant sensitivity to allergens may however have measurable serum IgE antibody levels. Due to the above, a patient’s overall clinical picture should be taken into account when interpreting serum IgE antibody level results.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.