Allergy comes to mind when it comes to Total IgE (Total Immunoglobulin E). Because in previous years, it was known that total IgE increased only in allergic diseases.
Today, the development of medical diagnostic technologies and sharing experiences with scientific studies have shown that the total IgE level in our blood rises due to many factors, including some infections, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, apart from allergic diseases.
What is Total IgE Test?
In some people, the immune system develops protective antibodies against any substance, even though it is not disease-causing. Let’s explain with an example; Grass is actually not harmful to human health. However, the immune system of some people perceives grass as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to fight this enemy.
The body creates specific IgEs for each different substance that it accepts as an allergen. For example, pollen-specific IgE is formed in the blood of a person with pollen allergy, while dust-specific IgE is formed in a person with dust allergy. The sum of all these specific IgEs in the human body can be called total IgE.
We call the biochemical test, in which all IgE molecules in our blood are measured, the Total IgE Test.
What is the Total IgE Test Done for? Why Is Total IgE Elevated?
• Some of the diseases related to immune system failure, especially allergic diseases, some types of infections, various tumors, inflammatory or autoimmune diseases can increase the Total IgE level in our blood.
The laboratory test performed in the evaluation of these diseases associated with elevated total IgE levels is the total IgE test.
• Total IgE level higher than 1000 kU/L supports the diagnosis of bronchopulmonary aspergillosis if there are clinical findings together with it. This disease is known as ABPA for short. ABPA is seen in patients with cystic fibrosis or asthma. The allergen that causes ABPA to develop is the fungus Aspergillus.
• In addition, the total IgE test is the supportive test to evaluate whether the patient diagnosed with allergic disease is suitable for anti-IgE treatment and to plan the dose for treatment.
In previous years, the Total IgE test was used to test whether a person had an allergy. However, new medical information obtained today has shown that the total IgE level cannot be used alone for the diagnosis of allergy, and that the total IgE rises in different conditions other than allergy.
In addition, with the diagnostic techniques developed today, specific IgE antibodies specific to 100s of substances that may be allergens can be measured in 1 drop of blood at once with molecular test methods.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the total IgE is high, does it mean I have an allergy?
Some foods, mites, microscopic creatures that feed on tiny skin particles shed from our human body in places such as carpets and beds, some animals, molecules we come into contact with through respiration, and some chemical substances can be allergens for our body. People with allergies produce different-specific IgE antibodies for each of these substances. We can say that Total IgE is the sum of all these specific IgEs.
However, the level of IgE in the blood does not rise only when there is an allergy. Allergy cannot be diagnosed by measuring the IgE level alone.
Because high levels of total IgE in our blood can also be measured in some infectious diseases, especially in parasites, some types of cancer and autoimmune diseases, apart from allergic diseases.
In addition, in some allergic patients, the measured IgE level can be measured at low or normal levels. These types of allergies are non-IgE-mediated non-IgE allergies. Gastrointestinal system allergies can be given as an example of this type of allergy. In gastrointestinal system allergies, the diagnosis can be made by following the clinical symptoms of the patient.
This article should not be construed as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Post time: Jan-10-2023