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OBJECTIVE: To determine the correlation of serum IgE levels with asthma severity in children (2-12 years) presenting to Pediatric Outpatient Department, Liaquat National Hospital Karachi.
METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was done at Department of Pediatric Medicine, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi from June 2016 to December 2016. A total of 106 children with symptoms of airflow obstruction characterized by recurrent cough, difficulty in breathing and wheeze were included in this study. The severity of asthma were classified as intermittent, mild, moderate or severe persistant asthma based on subjective experience of the patients. Blood samples for serum IgE levels were taken and serum IgE levels were estimated by automated chemiluminescence system.
RESULTS: The average age of the children was 6.38±6.0 years. In this study, intermittent asthma was observed in 24 (22.64%) cases. There were 30 (28.6%) children with mild asthma, 40 (37.74%) children with moderate asthma and severe asthma was found in 12 (11.32%) children. The mean IgE concentration was lowest in children with intermittent asthma (277.92±45.87 IU/ml), higher in children with mild persistent asthma (487.47±58.47 IU/ml) and highest in children with moderate and severe persistent asthma (688.75±52.08 and 1078.83±64.10IU/ml), respectively. .
CONCLUSION: Our results support the hypothesis that severity of asthma is reflected by serum IgE levels in children. We found that the mean IgE concentration correlates with the severity of asthma, being highest in the patients with severe asthma and dropping down as the symptoms wane.KEY WORDS: Asthma (MeSH); Immunoglobulin E (MeSH); IgE concentration (Non-MeSH); Bronchoconstriction (MeSH); Allergy (MeSH); Hypersensitivity (MeSH); Child (MeSH); Child, Preschool (MeSH).
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