Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Baldacci S., Omenaas E., Oryszczyn M. P. Allergy markers in respiratory epidemiology. In: European Respiratory Journal, vol. 17 (04) pp. 773 - 790. The European Respiratory Society, 2001.
Assessing allergy by measurement of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E antibodies is fast and safe to perform. Serum antibodies can preferably be assessed in patients with dermatitis and in those who regularly use antihistamines and other pharmacological agents that reduce skin sensitivity. Skin tests represent the easiest tool to obtain quick and reliable information for the diagnosis of respiratory allergic diseases. It is the technique more widely used, specific and reasonably sensitive for most applications as a marker of atopy. Measurement of serum IgE antibodies and skin-prick testing may give complimentary information and can be applied in clinical and epidemiological settings. Peripheral blood eosinophilia is less used, but is important in clinical practice to demonstrate the allergic aetiology of disease, to monitor its clinical course and to address the choice of therapy. In epidemiology, hypereosinophilia seems to reflect an inflammatory reaction in the airways, which may be linked to obstructive airflow limitation.
URL: http://erj.ersjournals.com/cgi/reprint/17/4/773
Subject atopy
general population
immunoglobulin E
skin test reactivity

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