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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

The correlation between skin tests, bronchial provocation tests and the serum level of IgE specific for common allergens in patients with asthma

Authors

  • D. H. BRYANT,

    1. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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    • *

      Cardiothoracic Institute, Bromton Hospital, London SW3.

  • M. W. BURNS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
      Dr M. W. Burns, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
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  • L. LAZARUS

    1. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Dr M. W. Burns, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Summary

Cutaneous and bronchial immediate allergic reactivity and the serum level of IgE specific for each of four common inhalant allergens were determined for 153 asthmatic patients. Positive bronchial reactivity to an extract was not detected in any of the patients with a negative prick test reaction to that extract but did occur in 9% of the patients in whom the serum tests results for IgE specific to that allergen fell within the range regarded as negative. Highly significant correlation coefficients between the degree of bronchial and cutaneous allergic reactivity to the allergen extracts were found and these were slightly but significantly less than the correlation between the serum level of allergen specific IgE and the degree of bronchial allergic reactivity to the allergen extracts. These findings indicate that the results both of prick testing with appropriate extracts and estimation of the serum level of allergen specific IgE can be used to predict not only the presence of detectable bronchial reactivity to inhalant allergens but also the degree of this reactivity. However, for the routine investigation of asthmatic patients measurement of the serum level of allergen specific IgE would appear to have little advantage over properly performed prick tests.

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