The measurement of total IgE

Overall, mainly because of the wide range of total IgE in the population, total IgE is not a very useful diagnostic test to identify allergic individuals. In adults, raised IgE levels carry a high predictive value of IgE-mediated disease, but normal values do not rule it out. In children, total IgE may be more able to distinguish the allergic individual from the non-allergic one. Kjellman found in children that it was both reflective of risk of atopy, correlating well with biparental history of atopic disorders, but also predictive in asymptomatic children of future atopic illness. Children and adults with sensitivities to many allergens, and with multi-end organ involvement, were more likely to have a raised total IgE.31

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