Allergy testing in childhood: Using allergen-specific IgE tests

Scott H. Sicherer, Robert A. Wood, Stuart Abramson, Bradley E. Chipps, Thomas Fleisher, Mitchell R. Lester, Todd A. Mahr, Elizabeth C. Matsui, Frank S. Virant, Paul V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A variety of triggers can induce common pediatric allergic diseases which include asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, food allergy, and anaphylaxis. Allergy testing serves to confirm an allergic trigger suspected on the basis of history. Tests for allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) are performed by in vitro assays or skin tests. The tests are excellent for identifying a sensitized state in which allergen-specific IgE is present, and may identify triggers to be eliminated and help guide immunotherapy treatment. However, a positive test result does not always equate with clinical allergy. Newer enzymatic assays based on anti-IgE antibodies have supplanted the radioallergosorbent test (RAST). This clinical report focuses on allergen-specific IgE testing, emphasizing that the medical history and knowledge of disease characteristics are crucial for rational test selection and interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • Allergy testing
  • IgE
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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