Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Sep;143(3):379-85. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2010.04.271.

Immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergies among adults with allergic rhinitis.

Author information

  • 1Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.



To compare the prevalence of food allergy for peanut, shrimp, and milk in adults with allergic rhinitis and to determine predictive values of these allergens and total immunoglobulin E (IgE) to detect food allergies.


Cross-sectional study.


University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.


We retrospectively analyzed in vitro enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of adults with rhinitis. Subjects were tested for nine inhalants and three foods (peanut, shrimp, milk) and total IgE. Subjects with food allergy history were tested with additional foods. The sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of the allergens and total IgE to detect food allergies were calculated.


A total of 283 subjects received in vitro tests. Forty-one percent tested negative and 59 percent tested positive for inhalants. The prevalence of subjects with a positive peanut or shrimp allergy in the inhalant-positive population was significantly greater than subjects with milk allergy (23.4% peanut [P = 0.008], 22.2% shrimp [P = 0.001], and 13.2% milk [P = 0.008], P = 0.001). For subjects with food allergy history, peanut had the best SP (100.0%), SE (28.1%), PPV (100.0%), and NPV (64.6%) in detecting allergies to other foods. In patients positive for the initial panel (inhalants and peanut), the SP, SE, PPV, and NPV of elevated total IgE was 71.4, 72.4, 77.8, and 65.2 percent, respectively.


Peanut and shrimp were the most common foods encountered in adults with allergic rhinitis. Peanut was best in predicting other food allergies. Total IgE levels with inhalants plus peanut provided the optimal combination of SE, SP, PPV, and NPV. In vitro testing may be important to identify and prevent anaphylaxis to foods in adults.

Copyright 2010 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk