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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1998 Feb;80(2):141-5; quiz 146-7.

Pollen identification.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this review is to introduce the reader to a systematic approach to categorizing pollen types. This will enable the reader to recognize pollen characteristics of the most common botanical sources and determine the relevant contributors to the local aeroallergen burden.

DATA SOURCES:

Allergenic plant and pollen atlases for pollen characteristics, allergy texts for procedures and overviews, and relevant reviews from the English medical literature (1985 to present).

RESULTS:

By applying a visual gestalt utilizing grain number, size, shape, surface structures, and internal detail, one is able to identify pollen source to the appropriate botanical taxonomic level. Identification may be possible only to the family or order, but most frequently to the genus, and occasionally to the species.

CONCLUSIONS:

Outdoor sampling allows the identification of aeroallergen burden in a locale. In conjunction with field work, the relevant sources can be identified as well as time of pollination. This allows the physician to correlate symptoms with exposure and relevant sensitization.

PMID:
9494446
DOI:
10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62947-X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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