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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Dec;181(6):1461-4.

Atopy, the use of condoms, and a history of cesarean delivery: potential predisposing factors for latex sensitization in pregnant women.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.



Our purpose was to assess the prevalence of latex sensitization among women admitted for delivery and the relevant risk factors.


In a prospective study 333 consecutive patients admitted for delivery were screened for specific immunoglobulin E antibodies to latex and for atopic status. A questionnaire was filled in and included questions about the obstetric and surgical history, known contact with latex, and previous use of condoms.


Nine of 333 (2.7%) women showed latex-specific immunoglobulin E. All 9 women had atopy (100% vs 26. 2% in the latex-negative group; P <.00001). Of 8 patients with specific immunoglobulin E who gave details about the use of condoms, 6 had had frequent contact with latex condoms (75% vs 51%). Previous cesarean delivery was more frequent in latex-sensitized patients (33% vs 8.4%; P <.05), whereas previous pregnancies, previous deliveries, and total number of operations had no influence.


Given a prevalence of 2.7% of latex sensitization, all obstetric patients should be questioned about known immediate allergic reaction to latex, a predisposition to atopy, previous intra-abdominal operations, and the regular use of condoms in the past. Patients with atopy and additive risk factors should be treated in a latex-free environment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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