A simple method is described which enables measurement of anti-IgE antibodies in free form as well as in immune complexes of IgE and anti-IgE. Anti-IgE antibodies were purified from serum of one selected blood donor with highly elevated levels of such auto-antibodies. These purified anti-IgE auto-antibodies inhibited the measurement of myeloma IgE. Purification also revealed that 98% of the subject's serum IgE was masked by anti-IgE auto-antibodies. Our data suggest that IgE determinations in sera containing anti-IgE antibodies might be underestimated.