Relationship between extremely low total serum IgE levels and rhinosinusitis

Todd A. Levin, Dennis R. Ownby, Phillip H. Smith, Edward L. Peterson, L. Keoki Williams, Janet Ford, Penny Young, Christine C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Background: The few studies examining clinical manifestations in adults with serum IgE levels less than 2.0 IU/mL provide conflicting information. Objective: To examine self-reported respiratory disease in women with total serum IgE levels less than 2.0 IU/mL to further elucidate previous reports of an association between IgE deficiency and chronic rhinosinusitis. Methods: In a geographically based cohort of 626 pregnant women, total serum IgE levels were measured using a standard assay with a lower limit of detection of 2.0 IU/mL. Sera with IgE levels less than 2.0 IU/mL were assayed again using a low IgE protocol with a detection limit of 0.02 IU/mL. Results: Twenty-one individuals (3.4%) were found to have IgE levels less than 2.0 IU/mL. On repeated assay, 20 of these individuals with available clinical data were found to have detectable IgE levels ranging from 0.5 to 2.1 IU/mL (geometric mean, 1.2 IU/mL). None of these individuals with low IgE levels had physician-diagnosed sinusitis compared with 19.3% (113/585) of those with IgE levels of 2.0 IU/mL or greater (P = .03). Physician-diagnosed asthma was also less prevalent (1/19, 5.3%) in the low IgE group compared with 20.6% in those with higher IgE levels, but this was not significant (P = .14). The low IgE group reported a higher prevalence of hay fever symptoms than the remaining cohort (31.6% vs 24.4%; P = .43) but had less physician-diagnosed hay fever (5.3% vs 15.8%; P = .34). Conclusions: Low serum IgE levels were relatively common in these pregnant women. In contrast to previous studies, a low IgE level was not associated with chronic rhinosinusitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-652
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Levin, T. A., Ownby, D. R., Smith, P. H., Peterson, E. L., Williams, L. K., Ford, J., ... Johnson, C. C. (2006). Relationship between extremely low total serum IgE levels and rhinosinusitis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 97(5), 650-652.