oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Investigation of the allergic patient : the importance of early diagnosis : clinical
|Article Title||Investigation of the allergic patient : the importance of early diagnosis : clinical|
|© Publisher:||Medpharm Publications|
|Journal||SA Pharmaceutical Journal|
|Publication Date||Aug 2006|
|Pages||28 - 36|
Allergy diagnosis is based on careful history taking and tests selected according to the age, geographical location, occupation and the clinical profile of the patient. Early diagnosis (as young as 3 months of age) assists with prevention of severe type I reactions, the management of atopic eczema flares and the prevention of asthma. <br>Allergy tests for foods now have cutoff values that can predict with confidence a 95% chance of developing a clinical reaction to that food if challenged with it. Inhalant allergy tests are selected based on the geographical location of the patient. Testing for non-IgE-mediated reactions may be conducted using elimination challenge diets or using the CAST test for preservative sensitivities. <br>Elimination challenge diets have an important role to play in the selection of specific tests to identify foods responsible for adverse reactions. Western blots and in-house ELISAs are important tools for the identification of specific IgE responses to indigenous allergens and 'now' allergens which are not yet commercially available.
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