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August 1993

Bacterial Allergy in Nasal Polyposis A New Method for Quantifying Specific IgE

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Basic and Applied Immunology, Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(8):830-836. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880200030004

• Objectives.  —To determine (1) if bacteria-specific serum IgE levels can be more effectively measured by first absorbing competing IgG antibodies from serum and (2) if patients with chronic paranasal sinus disease exhibit a high positive prevalence of bacteria-specific serum IgE.

Design.  —A modified radioallergosorbent test method was employed wherein each serum sample was absorbed with recProtein A to remove competing non-IgE antibodies, and purified proteins extracted from 16 individual bacteria were used as potential allergens.

Participants.  —Twenty-four patients with nasal polyposis and 14 with chronic sinusitis, all refractory to conventional medical therapy and requiring endoscopic sinusotomies, were tested. Tested as controls were 10 subjects with chronic allergic rhinitis, without a history of chronic sinus disease, and possessing total serum IgE and inhalant-specific IgE levels equal to or higher than the patient group.

Results.  —(1) Pretreatment of serum samples with recProtein A resulted in an increase of bacteria-specific radioallergosorbent test sensitivity. (2) Seventeen of 24 patients with polyps, eight of 14 with chronic sinusitis, and one of 10 with chronic allergic rhinitis were determined to be IgE positive when tested with this assay.

Conclusions.  —(1) Bacteria-specific serum IgE can be quantified; (2) most patients with nasal polyposis and/or chronic sinusitis possess bacteria-specific IgE in their serum, while subjects with only allergic rhinitis do not; and (3) multiple bacterial species isolated from chronically infected sinuses are capable of inducing IgE-mediated sensitization.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:830-836)