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Objective measures of allergic disease in children with human immunodeficiency virus infection.


J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Nov;100(5):707-11. Unique Identifier :

BACKGROUND: Available information suggests that IgE levels are elevated in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus HIV), and that increased IgE levels correlate with allergic disease, with decreased CD4 counts, and with a poor prognosis. Data with respect to these factors in children are scant. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether serum IgE levels are elevated in children with HIV and, if so, whether the serum IgE level correlates with the degree of immunodeficiency and/or objective indicators of allergic disease. METHODS: Serum IgE levels, CD4 counts, absolute eosinophil counts, and immediate hypersensitivity skin test (IHST) results were collected from 43 children with symptomatic HIV infection (mean age 7.2 years). Associations between serum IgE levels, CD4 counts, and eosinophil counts were investigated by multiple stepwise linear regression analysis. Data were stratified according to IHST positivity, and analysis of variance was used to compare mean values for age, CD4 counts, IgE levels, and eosinophil counts between the two groups. RESULTS: Serum IgE values were elevated more than 2 SDs above control age-matched mean values in 17 of 43 patients (40%). IHST results were positive in 12 of 43 patients (28%). CD4 counts were less than 200/mm3 in 17 of 43 patients (40%). Stepwise linear regression failed to demonstrate any correlation between serum IgE levels and either CD4 or eosinophil counts. With data divided into two groups according to IHST results (positive vs negative), analysis of variance failed to reveal significant differences between means for patient age, CD4 counts, IgE levels, or eosinophil counts. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that serum IgE levels are increased in children infected with HIV, just as in adults. However, an elevated serum IgE level did not correlate with allergic disease as measured by IHST results and eosinophil counts, nor with the degree of immune dysfunction as approximated by CD4 counts. The mechanism and significance of elevated serum IgE levels remain unclear in children with HIV, and warrant further investigation.



Information in this article was accurate in March 30, 1998. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.