Unproven diagnostic procedures in IgE-mediated allergic diseases

Authors


Bodo Niggemann, MD
Department of Pediatric Pneumology and
Immunology Children's Hospital Charité
Humboldt University
Augustenburger Platz 1,
D - 13353 Berlin
Germany

Abstract

A considerable body of literature on therapeutic aspects of complementary and alternative medicine has been published in recent years, but little is known on diagnostic procedures. This short review lists complementary and alternative diagnostic procedures for the diagnosis of allergic diseases and presents an assessment of their usefulness for the daily practice. The review of the literature revealed that neither the determination of specific immunoglobulin G-antibodies in serum, the hair-analysis, the cytotoxic test, kinesiology, iridology, or electrodermal testing represent useful tests for the daily practice. To date, no complementary or alternative diagnostic procedure can be recommended as a meaningful element in the diagnostic work-up of allergic diseases. This is especially true for food allergy: properly performed oral food challenges still represent the gold standard for implementing specific diets in food allergic individuals. Ineffective diagnostic approaches may be costly for the consumer and delay appropriate therapy.

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