Serum Specific IgE Levels Detects More Pollen Sensitizations in Symptomatic Patients Than Skin Prick Testing Alone
Sunday, March 6, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Denisa Ferastraoaru, M.D., Maria Shtessel, M.D., Gabriele de Vos, M.D., M.Sc.

We sought to investigate the concordance between skin prick test (SPT) and serum specific IgE (ssIgE) in depicting environmental allergen sensitization in patients presenting with perennial or spring/summer oculo-nasal symptoms


The records of 75 patients seen at 2 hospital-based allergy clinics in Bronx, NY, were reviewed for report of perennial or spring/summer oculo-nasal symptoms. All patients had SPT (ComforTen) and/or ssIgE (Immunlite2000) performed. ssIgE ≥ 0.35kU/L and wheal size 3mm larger than negative control were considered positive. 


Of 21 patients who reported perennial oculo-nasal symptoms, 8 (38%) had positive SPT to dust mite, 8 (38%) to roaches, 6 (29%) to mouse and 7 (33%) to cat. Of 7 patients who also had ssIgE levels tested, 3 (49%) were positive for dust mites, 2 (33%) for roaches, 3 (38%) for mouse and 5 (39%) for cat. All perennial serological sensitizations were confirmed by SPT.

Of 30 patients with seasonal allergies, 13 (43%) had positive SPT to tree pollen and 7 (23%) to grass pollen. 12 patients had also ssIgE done to trees and 8 to grass. 9 of 12 (75%) had positive ssIgE to trees, and 6 of 8 (75%) to grass. 7 of 12 (60%) showed tree pollen sensitization on both SPT and ssIgE testing, and 3 of 8 (37.5%) showed grass pollen sensitization on both tests.


Our pilot study indicated that SPT may be more (or equally) sensitive in diagnosing sensitization to perennial aeroallergens. In contrast, ssIgE testing may be more sensitive in diagnosing clinically relevant pollen sensitization.