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Childs Nerv Syst. 2006 Jan;22(1):28-32. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

Latex sensitisation and allergy in children with myelomeningocele.

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  • 1Paediatric Department, Spina Bifida Centre, Policlinico A. Gemelli, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.



Children with spina bifida (SB) have a high degree of exposure to latex products as a consequence of repeated surgical procedures, implantation of latex-containing materials and catheterisation. The consequence is a higher incidence of latex allergic reactions.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of latex sensitisation and allergy in a population of children with myelomeningocele (MMC) and to assess the role of associated risk factors.


Forty-eight percent of the patients (29 out of 60) showed a latex sensitisation with specific IgE >0.7 kU/l while 15% (9 out of 60) were allergic to latex (specific IgE >0.7 kU/l and clinical manifestations). The principal factor correlated with allergy to latex was specific serum IgE to latex (radioallergosorbent test [RAST]) values (p<0.01). Other factors were total serum IgE (paper radioimmunosorbent test [PRIST]) values, number of surgical procedures and familiarity with allergy.


These results underline the importance of prophylactic measures to avoid the exposure, not only in the sanitary environment, through the institution of latex-safe routes, but also in daily life, to prevent potentially serious allergic reactions.

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