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Hautarzt. 1988 Oct;39(10):662-70.

[The basophilic histamine liberation test as a diagnostic method in Hymenoptera venom allergy].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Dermatologische Klinik und Poliklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.


In 181 patients with systemic reactions to hymenoptera stings as a result of immediate-type allergy to bee or wasp venom confirmed by history, skin testing and demonstration of hymenoptera venom-specific IgE antibodies on radioallergosorbent testing (RAST), in vitro histamine release from peripheral basophilic granulocytes following stimulation with bee or wasp venom was evaluated. Suspensions of washed peripheral leukocytes at a density of 2 x 10(6)/ml were incubated with four different concentrations of hymenoptera venoms. Histamine was measured by spectrofluorometry, and histamine release was calculated as a percentage of the total histamine content. Tests performed with peripheral leukocytes obtained from 18 non-allergic individuals served as controls. In both bee venom allergy and wasp venom allergy the corresponding allergen induced concentration-dependent histamine release. Upper normal limits of histamine release were defined for the venom concentrations used. When these were used as reference values the basophil histamine release test exhibited a specificity of 94% and a sensitivity of 82% in the diagnosis of bee venom allergy, and a specificity of 83% and a sensitivity of 68% in the diagnosis of wasp venom allergy. Since there was no relevant significant correlation between the results of the basophil histamine release test on one hand and the severity of sting reactions and the prick test and RAST results on the other, it seems that the histamine release test determined additional parameters of sensitization. Thus, the method is a valuable adjunct to the in vitro methods available for the diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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