Test Detail
Interpreting Results

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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

You need to provide
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Overnight fasting is preferred.


What is IgE?

Total IgE test, also known as quantitative IgE test, measures the quantity of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood. When you have an allergy, your immune system regards a foreign substance, such as dust or pollen, as a threat. Your immune system fights against this threat by producing antibodies called IgE.

While total IgE test measures the overall number of IgE antibodies in your blood, another type of test called a specific IgE test tells you the quantity of IgE antibodies in response to a particular allergen.

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


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 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 IgE antibodies are seen?
Increased levels of IgE 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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