Intended for healthcare professionals

RAST – what it is and when to use it

A diagnosis of type I (IgE mediated) allergy is made by the clinical history and confirmed by a combination of in vivo and in vitro investigations. Symptoms are highly variable, ranging from rhinitis, conjunctivitis and urticaria to shortness of breath, laryngeal oedema, hypotension and anaphylaxis. One of the useful tests available for type I allergy is the radioallergosorbent test, which measures specific IgE to an allergen. Other types of allergic reaction (types II, III and IV) are not mediated via IgE and therefore this form of testing is not appropriate.
Dermatology in practice 2001; 9(2): 22–25
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