A blinded, multi-center evaluation of two commercial in vitro tests for latex-specific IgE antibodies

Dennis R. Ownby, Barbara Magera, P. Brock Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the diagnostic value of two commercial in vitro tests for the detection of latex-specific IgE antibodies. Methods: Serum samples were collected from latex-allergic and nonlatex-allergic individuals. Persons were classified as latex allergic if they had a positive clinical history and a positive skin prick test with a latex extract. Persons with no latex-related symptoms and negative skin tests were classified as nonlatex allergic. The serum samples were tested in a blinded fashion by a laboratory using the CAP (Pharmacia-Upjohn) and AlaSTAT (Diagnostic Products Company) assays. Values of 0.35 k(A) U/L or greater were considered positive in both tests. Results: The 143 sera studied came from 83-latex allergic and 60 nonallergic persons. The in vitro tests were found to have sensitivities of 79.5% and 73.8%, and specificities of 90.2% and 91.7%, for CAP and AlaSTAT, respectively. The positive predictive values were 91.7% and 92.5%, while the negative predictive values were 76.4% and 71.4% for the CAP and AlaSTAT, respectively. Conclusion: In individuals classified by the combination of clinical history and skin test results, both the Pharmacia CAP and the DPC AlaSTAT demonstrated acceptable sensitivities, specificities, and predictive values for detection of antilatex IgE antibodies. These findings suggest that both assays can be useful adjuncts to the diagnosis of latex allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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