Establishing a diagnosis of an allergy to giant ragweed
Defining the allergen responsible for eliciting signs and symptoms
-Responsible for allergic disease and/or anaphylactic episode
-To confirm sensitization prior to beginning immunotherapy
-To investigate the specificity of allergic reactions to insect venom allergens, drugs, or chemical allergens
Testing for IgE antibodies is not useful in patients previously treated with immunotherapy to determine if residual clinical sensitivity exists, or in patients in whom the medical management does not depend upon identification of allergen specificity.
Some individuals with clinically insignificant sensitivity to allergens may have measurable levels of IgE antibodies in serum, and results must be interpreted in the clinical context.
False-positive results for IgE antibodies may occur in patients with markedly elevated serum IgE (>2500 kU/L) due to nonspecific binding to allergen solid phases.
Reference values apply to all ages.
Detection of IgE antibodies in serum (Class 1 or greater) indicates an increased likelihood of allergic disease as opposed to other etiologies and defines the allergens that may be responsible for eliciting signs and symptoms.
The level of IgE antibodies in serum varies directly with the concentration of IgE antibodies expressed as a class score or kU/L.