Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

Content created by

Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Total IgE

(IgE)
Total IgE
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required

Overview


What is IgE?

Total IgE test is also known as Quantitative IgE test. This test measures the amount of IgE in the blood. It is done to screen for an allergic disease or parasitic infection.


Why is IgE done?


  • In case of symptoms of allergies 

  • In case of doubt of parasitic infection

  • To evaluate children having a family history of allergies

  • To evaluate in case of suspected allergic respiratory disease

  • To confirm sensitivity to foods in patients of asthma, angioedema, or cutaneous disease

  • To evaluate sensitivity to insect venom allergens



What does IgE Measure?

IgE test measures the amount of IgE (immunoglobulin E) in the blood. It is an antibody produced by the immune system in response to danger. Normally, it is present in very small amounts in the blood. It belongs to the class of immunoglobulins which include five types of immunoglobulins:  IgA, IgG, IgM, IgD, and IgE. 


Immunoglobulins are produced by plasma cells (specific immune cells) when the body recognizes bacteria, viruses, other microorganisms or any other unknown substances as harmful foreign antigens to the immune system. 


The production of IgE is seen in cases of response to allergens such as asthma and response to parasitic infections. Other allergens can include plant pollen, eggs, peanuts, bee venom, strawberries, and other allergens substances. 


These IgE antibodies, once produced, bind to white blood cells and lead to the release of substances like histamine. This further causes constriction of bronchi in the lungs in allergic or asthmatic persons. Other signs and symptoms which can develop in these patients include running nose, skin itching, itchy eyes. 

The severity of the reaction depends upon the body’s exposure to allergens which can be observed from mild reddening and itching of skin to problems in breathing (respiratory distress) to vomiting and diarrhea to conditions of shock. 



Interpreting IgE results


Interpretations

IgE < 64.0o kUA/L 

*Reference range may vary from lab to lab



Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IgE


Frequently Asked Questions about Total IgE

Q. How effective is the skin test for allergies?
The skin of the arm is pricked by needle containing the specified allergen, causing a red swelling when positive. It is a very specific test but requires multiple pricks for each type of allergen to be tested.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the test?
Inform the doctor about the medications you may be taking. No other specific preparations are usually required before this test.
Q. How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle which has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once the sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.
Q. Is there any risk associated with the withdrawal of blood sample procedure?
As such there is no risk but in few cases, bruising, bleeding, and infection at the puncture site can be seen. In very few cases, there can be swelling of the vein after the blood is withdrawn.
Q. When is Total IgE Test advised by the doctor?
The total IgE test is advised by the doctor in case of Itchy skin, Itching in eyes, Hives, Eczema, Nausea, Vomiting, Persistent diarrhoea, Sneezing, Coughing, Congestion, Difficulty in breathing, Symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, breathlessness, coughing, and tightness in the chest.
Q. In what conditions increased levels of IgG antibodies are seen?
Increased levels of IgG antibodies may be seen in cases of Atopic/non-atopic allergy, Hyper IgE syndrome, Parasitic infections, Immunodeficiency condition, Autoimmune diseases, IgE myeloma and Pulmonary aspergillosis.
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