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Also known as: Immunoglobulin E

Immunoglobulin E

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The IgE test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The IgE test, also known as Immunoglobulin E test, measures the level of IgE antibodies in the blood. Immunoglobulin E is a type of antibody produced by the immune system in response to allergens. This test helps healthcare providers assess allergic responses and diagnose allergic conditions.

Also Known As: Immunoglobulin E test, Immunoglobulin IgE test, Immunoglobulin E Antibody test, IgE Antibody test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why an IgE Test May Be Ordered:

An IgE test is ordered when a healthcare provider suspects that a patient may have an allergic reaction to specific allergens. Common reasons for ordering this test include:

  1. Allergy Assessment: If a patient presents with allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, hives, itching, or difficulty breathing, an IgE test may be ordered to identify the allergens triggering the symptoms.

  2. Asthma Evaluation: In cases of uncontrolled or severe asthma, an IgE test can be used to evaluate whether allergic triggers are contributing to the condition.

  3. Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis: For patients with chronic skin conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis, an IgE test can help identify potential allergens exacerbating the symptoms.

  4. Food Allergies: When a healthcare provider suspects a food allergy, an IgE test can help identify specific allergens responsible for adverse reactions.

What an IgE Test Checks For:

The IgE test measures the level of Immunoglobulin E in the blood. Elevated IgE levels indicate that the immune system has produced antibodies in response to specific allergens, suggesting the presence of allergies.

Other Lab Tests That May Be Ordered Alongside an IgE Test:

When an IgE test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of allergic conditions and immune system health. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Allergen-Specific IgE Tests:

    • Purpose: To identify specific allergens (such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, foods) that may be causing an allergic reaction.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To pinpoint the exact allergens responsible for the patient's symptoms, guiding allergy management and treatment plans.
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including white and red blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess for eosinophilia, a condition where eosinophil counts are elevated, often seen in allergic reactions and parasitic infections.
  3. Total Serum IgG, IgA, and IgM:

    • Purpose: To measure the levels of other major types of immunoglobulins.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the overall function of the immune system, particularly if immune deficiencies or other immunologic disorders are suspected.
  4. Eosinophil Count (part of CBC Differential):

    • Purpose: To measure the number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Eosinophils can be elevated in allergic conditions, certain infections, and some autoimmune diseases.

These tests, when ordered alongside an Immunoglobulin E test, provide a comprehensive view of an individual’s allergic status and overall immune system health. They are crucial for diagnosing allergic conditions, identifying specific allergens, assessing the immune system function, and managing allergic diseases. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's symptoms, exposure history, and clinical presentation.

Conditions or Diseases That Would Require an IgE Test:

An IgE test is typically ordered for conditions related to allergic responses, including:

  1. Seasonal Allergies: To identify the allergens responsible for hay fever and seasonal allergic rhinitis.

  2. Food Allergies: To identify specific food allergens that may trigger adverse reactions.

  3. Asthma: To assess if allergies are contributing to asthma symptoms.

  4. Atopic Dermatitis and Eczema: To identify allergens that may exacerbate skin conditions.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of an IgE Test:

The results of the IgE test are used by healthcare providers to:

  1. Diagnose Allergic Conditions: Elevated IgE levels in response to specific allergens help diagnose and confirm allergic conditions.

  2. Identify Allergens: The test helps identify the specific allergens causing allergic reactions, enabling targeted allergen avoidance and management strategies.

  3. Guide Treatment: The results of the IgE test may influence treatment decisions, such as allergen immunotherapy or the use of antihistamines to manage symptoms.

  4. Monitor Progress: For patients undergoing allergen immunotherapy or other allergy treatments, the IgE test may be repeated over time to monitor the effectiveness of the therapy.

Most Common Questions About the IgE test:

Understanding the IgE Test

What is the Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test?

The IgE test is a laboratory test that measures the level of Immunoglobulin E, a type of antibody, in your blood. It's part of your body's immune system and plays a significant role in allergic reactions.

What does the IgE test help diagnose?

High levels of IgE may indicate an allergic reaction or a parasitic infection. In some cases, elevated IgE levels may be associated with autoimmune diseases or certain cancers.

Why might a doctor recommend an IgE test?

A doctor might recommend an IgE test if you have symptoms of an allergy (such as hives, itching, red eyes, and problems breathing).

Interpreting the IgE Test Results

What does a high IgE result indicate? A high IgE result usually indicates that the body's immune system has overreacted to an allergen. This overreaction can be due to an allergy, a parasitic infection, or, less commonly, certain other medical conditions.

What does a normal IgE level mean?

A normal IgE level means that the amount of IgE in the blood is within the expected range. This usually indicates that the person is not currently having an allergic reaction.

The IgE Test and Specific Health Conditions

How is the IgE test used in the diagnosis of parasitic infections?

Parasitic infections often trigger an immune response, including the production of IgE. High levels of IgE may indicate a parasitic infection.

Can the IgE test be used to monitor the progression of certain diseases like atopic dermatitis?

Yes, the IgE levels can be monitored over time to assess the severity or progression of certain conditions like atopic dermatitis, which often involves an allergic component.

Can the IgE test assist in diagnosing conditions like IgE myeloma?

Yes, IgE myeloma, a rare form of cancer, can cause elevated IgE levels, so this test can help in diagnosis.

The IgE Test and Allergen-Specific IgE Tests

What's the difference between a total IgE test and an allergen-specific IgE test?

A total IgE test measures the overall level of IgE in the blood, while an allergen-specific IgE test measures the level of IgE that reacts to a specific allergen.

Can an allergen-specific IgE test identify the cause of an allergy?

Yes, an allergen-specific IgE test can help identify the specific substance causing an allergic reaction.

Can the allergen-specific IgE test help in diagnosing allergies to specific substances like dust mites or pet dander?

Yes, an allergen-specific IgE test can help identify whether someone is allergic to specific allergens like dust mites, pet dander, or certain types of food.

Can the allergen-specific IgE test help in the management of allergic conditions?

Yes, knowing the specific allergen can help a person avoid that allergen or undergo treatment to reduce their allergic response, aiding in the management of allergic conditions.

The IgE Test in Different Populations

How is the IgE test used in pediatric patients?

The IgE test can be used to diagnose allergies in pediatric patients. It can also assist in monitoring the progression of allergic diseases over time.

Can the IgE test be used in the elderly?

Yes, while allergies are less common in the elderly, the IgE test can still be used to diagnose allergies in this population.

Can the IgE test be used in pregnant women?

Yes, the IgE test can be safely used in pregnant women if necessary.

Can the IgE test be used in conjunction with other tests for allergy diagnosis?

Yes, the IgE test is often used alongside skin tests, patient history, and elimination diets to diagnose allergies.

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

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