Laboratory Testing for Allergy – How will we get to where we need to be?

Time: 15:15 - 15:45

Date: 24 April 2018

Theatre: Dodder B


Allergy is a clinical diagnosis, which is supported by evidence of sensitisation, (specific IgE or skin prick test) and may require confirmation by a challenge.

Measurement of allergen specific IgE, when used appropriately assists in reaching an accurate and timely diagnosis. However inappropriate use and interpretation of this test is wasteful, and may cause harm to patients. In contrast, measurement of total IgE alone is rarely useful (with the exception of suspected Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and planned omalizumab treatment for asthma).

Consensus guidelines for the use of both specific and total IgE measurement have been developed and gone through an extensive consultation process. We know that guidelines do not change behaviour, and that change in system design is required to produce lasting change. Following discussion at the Immunology Working Group of the National Clinical Programme for Pathology, a MedLIS design which reflects the guideline recommendations and will improve clinical appropriateness of these tests has been developed.


  • Dr Mary Keogan Consultant Immunologist & Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Pathology - Beaumont Hospital

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