Serum immunoglobulin E in early childhood wheezing

B K Das, Swati Kumar, B K Panda, O P Mishra
Indian Journal of Pediatrics 2003, 70 (3): 213-5

OBJECTIVE: To study the serum Ig E levels in patients presenting with wheezing under the age of 24 months.

METHODS: The study was conducted on 38 cases and 35 controls. The children presenting with first attack of wheezing were clinically considered as bronchiolitis and those with recurrent attacks with positive history of atopy in the patient or in their first degree relatives were considered as bronchial asthma. The Ig E estimation was done by immune assay method.

RESULTS: The mean serum Ig E was significantly higher in asthma patients (p < 0.001). It was also higher in bronchiolitis patients but the difference was not statistically significant. However, 26 per cent of these patients had values above 1 SD of the control mean. These patients were considered as potential cases of asthma.

CONCLUSION: The determination of serum Ig E may be of value in identifying those children presenting with first wheezing attack, who may develop asthma in future. Only a long-term follow-up of these patients can give an answer to the postulation that raised Ig E level at the time of first viral lower respiratory tract infection is a potential marker for the development of recurrent wheezing in later life.


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