The MAGIC LITE system, a newly developed immunochemiluminometric assay for specific and total IgE antibody using paramagnetic particles coupled with standardized allergens as solid phase, was compared to the CAP system, a recently introduced immunoassay based on a cellulose polymer encased in a capsule. A total of 357 serum samples of patients with suspected inhalant allergies and a positive skin prick test (SPT) to common allergens (birch, timothy-grass, mugwort, cat dander, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Alternaria) were investigated. Fifty SPT negative subjects served as controls (total number of tests in each assays = 1600). Both assays were highly precise (overall intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 2.9% and 4.5% in MAGIC LITE, 4.7% and 5.5% in CAP) and showed excellent linearity (mean r2 of eightfold log2 serum dilutions were 99.7% and 99.3% in MAGIC LITE and CAP). Good correlations were found between the absolute specific IgE antibody values detected by both methods (correlation coefficient r: birth 0.86, grass 0.93, mugwort 0.96, cat 0.91, D. pteronyssinus 0.73, Alternaria 0.90). Excellent specificity (.98%) occurred in both assays and with all allergens, and sensitivity was related to the allergen (MAGIC LITE/CAP): birch 91%/89%, grass 83%/90%, mugwort 50%/69%, cat 83%/83%, D. pteronyssinus 72%/78%, Alternaria 75%/81 %. Our results indicate that both in vitro tests are useful tools for the detection of specific IgE antibody.