Perception of Aeroallergen Sensitization Versus Actual Aeroallergen Sensitization
Monday, March 5, 2018: 3:00 PM
S310GH (Convention Center)
Michele N. Pham, MD, , , ,

Many patients describe specific allergen triggers for their rhinoconjunctivitis, but allergy testing often reveals disparate sensitization. We sought to quantify the agreement between perception of aeroallergen sensitization versus actual aeroallergen sensitization.


Detailed questionnaires addressing allergy symptoms were administered to 229 subjects recruited from pediatric allergy, pulmonary, and general clinics within the Mount Sinai Health System. Specific IgE levels to common aeroallergens (tree mix, grass mix, weed mix, D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae, mold mix, cat dander, dog dander, Blatella germanica, and mouse urine) were measured by ImmunoCAP on serum from each subject. Sensitization was defined as sIgE ≥ 0.35 kUA/L. Statistical tests for agreement were implemented in R.


The mean age of the 229 participants was 13.8 years (SD 4.9), with 145 (63.3%) reporting symptoms to at least one specific aeroallergen. Tree pollen and dust were the most commonly reported allergen triggers (43.2%), followed by cat (39.7%) and grass pollen (33.6%). Specific IgE measurements revealed that 188 (82.1%) were sensitized to at least one aeroallergen, with sensitization to dog most prevalent (64.2%), followed by dust mite (62.4%) and cat (60.7%). There was moderate agreement between perceived vs. actual cat sensitization (Kappa 0.41, 95%CI 0.30-0.53), and fair agreement between perceived vs. actual sensitization to tree, grass, and weed pollens, dust mite, and mold (Kappa range 0.24-0.36). There was low agreement between perceived vs. actual sensitization to mouse (Kappa 0.14, 95%CI 0.03-0.24) and cockroach (Kappa 0.04, 95%CI -0.03-0.11).


Perception of individual aeroallergen sensitization does not highly agree with corresponding allergen-specific serum sIgE levels.