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High Prevalence of Allergic Sensitization in Pediatric Asthma

Microarray methods provide new information in 47 percent of sensitized children

child with asthma inhaler

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Among children with persistent asthma, the prevalence of allergic sensitization is high, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in Allergy.

Annica Önell, Ph.D., from Microtest Dx in London, and colleagues examined the accuracy of and information obtained by two microarray platforms applied on a pediatric asthma cohort. Seventy-one children from a Swedish study were recruited, of whom 40 and 31 had severe and controlled asthma, respectively. Participants were assessed for allergic sensitization by two microarray systems and by two standard diagnostic methods.

The researchers observed a high prevalence of allergic sensitization in the cohort. Independently of the methods compared, the pairwise concordance between two methods was 90 to 92 percent. The sensitivity and specificity of the four methods against doctor's diagnosis was 0.77 to 0.88 and 0.97 to 0.99, respectively. In 47 percent of the sensitized children, microarray methods provided new information compared with results obtained by standard diagnostic methods.

"The high prevalence of food and respiratory sensitization supports the clinical guideline recommendation that allergies should be evaluated in all children with suspected asthma," the authors write. "The microarray platforms studied here demonstrated acceptable accuracy and provided refined immunoglobulin E characterization in 47 percent of the patients compared to standard extract-based methods."

Three authors are employees of Microtest Dx, which makes one of the microarray systems used in the study.

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