Background A few years ago we reported that acute myocardial infarction is associated with a distinct, transient rise in serum imtnunoglobulin (Ig)E.
Objective We wondered whether this response is specific only for myocardial infarction or whether it reflects a more generalized phenomenon, precipitated by tissue injury.
Methods We carried out a large prospective study on 149 patients undergoing various surgical procedures. These were the patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, who did (n=39) or did not (n=42) develop perioperative myocardial infarction, patients subjected to various thoracic operations (n= 33), eholecystectotny (n = 17) or repair of the inguitial hernia (n=18). Thirty healthy volunteers fortned the control group.
Results In all groups studied, except the control group, serum IgE levels began to rise shortly after the operation, reached a peak by the fifth postoperative day. and then gradually declined. This was in striking contrast to serurn imnunoglobulin G which soon alter the operation became markedly) depressed, and took more than a week to return to preoperative values. Specific IgE. against common aeroallergens, measured in a subgroup of patients with initially high total serum IgE, showed no uniform pattern of change.
Conclusion Surgical operations are accompanied by a characteristic, transient rise in serum IgE concentration. Immunoglobulin E might be involved in acute phase response to tissue injury.