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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2012;158(3):281-7. doi: 10.1159/000332929. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Diagnostic value of specific IgE analysis in latex allergy.

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Division of Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.



The precision of the methods used to diagnose latex allergy is of great importance due to false-positive results. Neither the skin prick test (SPT) nor the latex-specific IgE assay has 100% diagnostic accuracy. We analysed the diagnostic value of latex-specific IgE by the first-ever concomitant use of the SPT and nasal provocation test (NPT).


Twenty-seven latex-sensitive patients (group 1), 46 aeroallergen-sensitive patients (group 2a) and 33 healthy subjects (group 2b) participated in the study. All groups underwent an SPT with latex and aeroallergens and an NPT with latex. Latex-specific IgE and total IgE levels were measured by the ImmunoCAP assay.


Latex-specific IgE was positive in 92.6, 30.4 and 9.1% of groups 1, 2a and 2b, respectively. The 11 aeroallergen-sensitive patients in group 1 and all of the patients in group 2a were predominantly sensitised to pollens (grass, weed and tree) and reacted to a lesser degree to house dust mite, moulds and animal dander. Combined pollinosis was remarkably more prevalent in patients with positive latex-specific IgE in group 2a than in those with negative latex-specific IgE (p = 0.001). The NPT was positive in 84.6% of group 1 and negative in all control subjects. The sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value of the latex-specific IgE assay were 90.9, 72.2, 96.3 and 50%, respectively.


The high rate of false-positive results for latex-specific IgE by ImmunoCAP should be taken into account when making a diagnosis of latex allergy in patients with pollinosis, especially in those sensitised to more than one pollen species.

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