What is Being Tested?
The Serum Allergy tests detect IgE-mediated allergic response to a particular antigen. They can be used as an adjunct to the traditionally used skin testing. They are recommended as an alternative to skin testing in a number of clinical circumstances, including when the patient is an infant, over 60 years of age, has an allergic skin disease or is on certain medications to manage the allergic response (i.e. anti-histamines).
The clinical specificity of the Serum Allergy test is in the range of 90% for most allergens tested and seems to be particularly useful in identifying food allergens.
In excess of 450 individual allergen tests have been developed. In addition, a variety of "mix" tests is available for a group of associated common allergens, e.g. weeds and grass pollens. When ordering Serum Allergy tests, it is recommended to initially select a limited number of "mix" tests, consistent with the clinical history for screening. Any positive results should then be followed up with specific allergen tests. The LifeLabs Allergen Test Requisition (ON
) lists most common "mix" and single allergen tests; however, for availability of more unusual allergens please contact us for availability.
The Serum Allergy tests may or may not be covered by the provincial health plan or by a private insurance plan. If testing is not covered, then the patient will be charged at the time of specimen collection. Any additional allergen tests ordered after the initial test results will also be billed to the patient.
For additional information please visit www.isitallergy.com