Methods of quantifying circulating IgE


Dr T. G. Merrett, RAST Allergy and Research Unit, Benenden Chest Hospital, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4AX.


Four radioimmunoassay techniques, two conventional and two sandwich, have been used to measure circulating IgE levels in 100 sera. The test sera had IgE levels ranging From 1.0 to 20,000 u/ml, and each was measured at live dilutions, ranging from threefold to 400-fold. The same IgE standards were used throughout, and the optimal range for each assay was determined by assessing data for quality control sera and the WHO standard 69/204. To be of general use in the United Kingdom an IgE test must measure accurately levels as low as 20-30 u IgE/ml. The Phadebas RIST method failed to meet this criterion, and of the remaining tests the double antibody method had the most useful operating range and produced the most reliable results. However, the double antibody method is not available commercially and so, for the majority of laboratories, the Phadebas PRIST technique should be the method chosen.