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Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002 Jun;2(3):257-61.

Improving in-vitro tests for the diagnosis of food hypersensitivity.

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Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10538, USA.


Food hypersensitivity reactions affect up to 8% of children under 3 years of age and approximately 2.5% of the general United States population. Food allergic disorders may be subdivided into either IgE-mediated or cell-mediated reactions. The diagnostic 'gold standard' of 'symptomatic' food allergies remains the blinded oral food challenge because of the poor specificity of patient histories, skin testing and standard radioallergosorbent tests, and the outcomes of elimination diets. Little progress has been made in the development of in-vitro tests for the diagnosis of cell-mediated food hypersensitivities. However, new developments in in-vitro technologies have improved the capabilities of these tests to diagnose IgE-mediated reactivity and perhaps predict the development of future 'tolerance', i.e. 'outgrowing' the allergy.

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