Relation to Age, Sex, Eczema, and Skin Sensitivity Tests
A simple method was used to detect raised serum concentrations of IgE immunoglobulin in 237 asthmatic children. The lower limit of sensitivity of the method was 900 units/ml. 49% of the children were found to have concentrations of 1000 units/ml or over. Among those who had asthma and either past or present eczema, 66% had IgE concentration over 1000 units/ml, but among those with asthma alone, only 35% had IgE levels of 1000 units/ml or more. A level of 900 units/ml was chosen to discriminate between high and low IgE groups since this level is probably near to the mean +2SD for normal children.
The results of repeated sampling for 50 of the children suggested that those with high IgE concentrations and those with normal IgE concentration form stable subgroups. In those under 5 years old, high levels of IgE were uncommon. Skin (prick) tests were positive in 92% of the children, and a larger number of positive tests were found in children with high IgE concentration.
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