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Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2004 Sep-Oct;32(5):295-305.

[Latex allergy].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de AlergologĂ­a, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Castellana 261, 28046 Madrid, Spain.


Latex allergy has become an increasing cause of morbility in the last few years and is now recognized as an international health problem. The prevalence of latex sensitization among the general population is less than 1 %. The groups at highest risk include healthcare workers, rubber industry workers, patients with a history of multiple surgical procedures, particularly children with spina bifida and urogenital abnormalities, atopic individuals, and patients with certain fruit allergies (especially kiwi, avocado, chestnut and banana). The molecular and immunological characteristics of several natural latex allergens have been identified. Symptoms range from contact urticaria to anaphylaxis. Diagnosis is based on clinical history and is confirmed by skin prick tests. Measurement of serum specific IgE to latex can also be useful. The best treatment is latex avoidance and substitution by other materials. However, because latex products are ubiquitous in medical and nonmedical devices of daily use, a latex-free environment is not easy to achieve. In some patients, immunotherapy could be an alternative.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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