Allergy-Shellfish Panel

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: AllergyShellfish Panel

Clam (F207) IgE

Crab (F23) IgE

Lobster (F80) IgE

Shrimp (F24) IgE

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The Allergy-Shellfish Panel test contains 1 test with 4 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test is a specific diagnostic panel designed to detect allergic reactions to various shellfish. Allergies to shellfish are among the most common food allergies, especially in adults, and reactions can range from mild hives or a stuffy nose to severe anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test May Be Ordered

The test may be ordered:

  1. Symptoms After Consumption: If a patient reports experiencing allergic symptoms after consuming shellfish—like itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal issues.
  2. History of Allergies: For individuals with a known history of other food allergies, as they may be at an increased risk of developing new ones.
  3. Family History: If there's a family history of shellfish or other food allergies.
  4. Routine Allergy Testing: Sometimes, especially in children, comprehensive allergy tests are ordered to pinpoint specific triggers, especially if there's a general history of allergic reactions without a clear source.

What the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test Checks For

The test checks for the presence of specific IgE antibodies in the blood that are associated with allergic reactions to shellfish. High levels of these antibodies can indicate an allergy. The specific shellfish that may be tested in the panel include, but aren't limited to, shrimp, crab, lobster, and mollusks like clams, mussels, and oysters.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test

When an Allergy-Shellfish Panel is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of food allergies and related conditions. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Total IgE:

    • Purpose: To measure the overall level of IgE antibodies in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated total IgE levels can indicate a general predisposition to allergic reactions. This test provides context for the specific IgE results from the shellfish panel.
  2. Other Specific IgE Food Allergy Tests:

    • Purpose: To identify allergic sensitivities to other common food allergens.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Individuals with one type of food allergy may have sensitivities to other foods. Testing can include common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for eosinophilia, an increase in eosinophils, which can be associated with allergic reactions and other conditions.
  4. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Although not specific for allergies, these tests can help assess the presence of inflammation, which might be related to allergic reactions or other conditions.
  5. Amino Acid Profile:

    • Purpose: To evaluate for amino acid imbalances, which can be affected by dietary restrictions due to food allergies.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To ensure balanced nutrition, especially in individuals with multiple food allergies who may have limited diets.
  6. Vitamin and Mineral Levels (such as Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium):

    • Purpose: To assess levels of essential vitamins and minerals.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Restricted diets due to food allergies can lead to deficiencies, which may need to be addressed.

These tests, when ordered alongside an Allergy-Shellfish Panel, provide a comprehensive evaluation of a person’s allergic profile and overall health. They are important for diagnosing specific allergic triggers, differentiating between allergies and other conditions with similar symptoms, and guiding dietary management and treatment strategies. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, clinical presentation, and history of allergic reactions.

Conditions or Diseases that Require the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test

The primary condition detected with this test is:

  • Shellfish Allergy: This encompasses allergic reactions to various crustaceans and mollusks, including shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, and oysters.

Usage of Results from the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test by Health Care Providers

Health care providers use the results to:

  • Diagnose Shellfish Allergy: Positive results confirm an allergy, allowing for appropriate advice on dietary restrictions.
  • Guidance on Severity: Based on the levels of IgE antibodies, a physician might gauge the potential severity of allergic reactions and advise accordingly.
  • Recommend Treatment: This might include prescribing emergency medications like epinephrine (in the form of an EpiPen or similar device) for potential severe reactions in the future.

In summary, the Allergy-Shellfish Panel Test is an essential tool for diagnosing and managing shellfish allergies, helping to ensure the safety and well-being of those affected.

Most Common Questions About the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

What is the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test designed for?

The Allergy-Shellfish Panel test is designed to determine if an individual has specific antibodies in their blood that would indicate an allergic reaction to shellfish. The presence of these antibodies can suggest sensitivity or an allergic reaction to shellfish.

What are the main allergens tested for in the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test?

The panel typically tests for common shellfish allergens, which may include shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters, and other related allergens. These are some of the primary shellfish that individuals might be allergic to.

Interpretation of Results

How are the results of the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test interpreted?

Results are usually given as a numerical value that represents the level of specific IgE antibodies in the blood. A higher value typically indicates a greater sensitivity to the allergen. However, the numerical value alone doesn't confirm an allergy. Clinical symptoms and history, along with the test results, help in making an accurate diagnosis.

What does a negative result indicate in the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test?

A negative result suggests that the individual may not have a detectable allergy to shellfish at the time of testing. However, it's essential to consider the clinical context, as some individuals may still have non-IgE mediated reactions or other types of sensitivities.

Implications and Medical Management

If someone tests positive for shellfish allergy using the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test, what are the recommended next steps?

A positive result indicates a potential shellfish allergy. The individual should consult an allergist or immunologist for a comprehensive evaluation, further testing if required, and management strategies. Avoidance of shellfish is often recommended until a clear plan is established.

Are there any treatments or interventions for individuals who test positive?

Avoidance of the specific shellfish allergens is the primary intervention. For those with severe allergies, an epinephrine auto-injector might be prescribed for emergency situations. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) or other treatments may be considered based on individual needs and the severity of the allergy.

Post-Test Management

Is it possible for someone to outgrow a shellfish allergy if they tested positive with the Allergy-Shellfish Panel test?

While it's more common for individuals to outgrow certain food allergies, like milk or egg, shellfish allergies are typically lifelong. However, the severity and response to the allergen can change over time. Regular follow-ups with an allergist can help monitor and manage the condition.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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