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Serum specific IgE antibodies in immediate drug hypersensitivity

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Immediate drug hypersensitivity reactions (IDHRs) constitute a significant health problem that may be compounded by consequences of diagnostic error. In daily practice, IDHR diagnostic work up starts with drug-specific skin testing and/or quantification of specific IgE (sigE) antibodies in serum. Here we critically review the performance, i.e. potential and limitations of sIgE to β-lactam antibiotics (β-LABs), curarizing neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs), opiates and (semi)synthetic opioids, fluoroquinolones (FQs), poppy seed (papaver somniferum), chlorhexidine and finally Hevea latex. Quintessence of these studies is clear. Quantification of these drug-specific sIgE should not be used in isolation to document or exclude diagnosis of an IDHR. False negative results entail the risk for subsequent potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis upon re-exposure. False positive results lead to erroneous avoidance and unnecessary substitutions and fails to identify the true etiology.
Journal: Clinica Chimica Acta
ISSN: 0009-8981
Volume: 504
Pages: 119 - 124
Publication year:2020