A spectrum of IgE-mediated allergic responses to latex is presented in this report of 14 patients, including health care workers, sensitized by exposure to latex gloves. Symptoms often occurred immediately after exposure to latex, and manifestations varied according to the route of latex antigen presentation. Skin exposure usually caused contact urticaria. Exposure to latex in the air elicited allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma. Systemic effects from latex occurred intraoperatively due to the surgeon's latex gloves. Anaphylactic shock included the above symptoms with the addition of tachycardia and hypotension. All patients had positive latex skin tests. Serum IgE antibody to latex was found with a latex radioallergosorbent test in all but one tested patient. Physicians should be aware that latex allergy can present as anaphylaxis during surgery, barium enema, or dental work. Latex skin tests are a satisfactory method of diagnosis. Nonlatex gloves are available and are tolerated by affected people.
Sussman GL, Tarlo S, Dolovich J. The Spectrum of IgE-Mediated Responses to Latex. JAMA. 1991;265(21):2844-2847. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460210090035