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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

New in vitro method for detecting asthma allergen

Counting reactive basophils after addition of allergen


Professor Ikuro Kimura, Department of Medicine, The Second Clinic, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikatacho, Okayama 700, Japan.


Changes in the morphology and number of basophils were examined after the addition in vitro of house dust extract in cells from seventy-seven patients with bronchial asthma. Morphological changes (reactive basophils) showed a close relation to the end-point titrations of antigen in skin tests, RAST score and bronchial provocation tests, but changes in number of basophils did not. With a RAST score of 2 or greater the change in reactive basophils varied from 40 to 80% (mean 58-1%), which was much greater than seen in persons with no RAST, score 0. Patients with positive bronchial inhalation tests, showed 40 to 80% (mean 57.8%) reactive basophils, whereas persons with a negative bronchial challenge test showed a range of reactive basophils from 0 to 50% (mean 28.9%). The difference in percentage of reactive basophils between the positive and negative groups of persons tested by bronchial inhalation was statistically significant.

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