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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1980 Jun;65(6):422-30.

Comparison of cord blood immunoglobulin E concentrations and maternal allergy for the prediction of atopic diseases in infancy.


Total serum IgE levels were determined in 136 newborns and their mothers and in 54 of their fathers, using the paper radioimmunosorbent test (PRIST) technique. IgE specific antibodies for house dust (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus), orchard grass, timothy grass, and cow's milk were measured with the radioallergosorbent test (RAST). One hundred thirty-three RAST assays were negative in newborns, and in three cases RAST for cow's milk was positive. Cord blood IgE ranged from 0 to 5.5 IU/ml (mean 0.32 +/- 0.54 IU/ml); levels were significantly (p less than 0.05) higher when maternal IgE was over 100 IU/ml and when mothers had received progesterone therapy during the pregnancy. Salbutamol administration or tobacco smoking during pregnancy did not influence newborn IgE. A clinical follow-up study was conducted in 83 infants for 9 mo. Nine infants developed definite atopic disease, and possible allergic diseases were noted in eight other infants. The IgE level at birth appeared to be more predictive for the development of allergy in infancy than the family history.

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