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PANCE Practice Exam #3

Terms in this set (236)

The answer is B.
EXPLANATION: Allergen-specific serum IgE testing is an easy and accurate method for determining the presence of atopic allergy, and with newer in vitro technology available, in vitro testing is at least equivalent to skin testing in efficacy. In vitro assays are safe, specific, cost-effective, and reproducible, and do not require the patient to be free of antihistamines and other medications that may interfere with skin testing. They are also easy and quick and are therefore preferred, especially in children and in anxious patients.
Although the original in vitro assay, the RAST test (radioallergosorbent test), is no longer performed, its name is still used today to generally describe IgE-specific blood testing. However, not all in vitro assays available today are alike. The newer assays tend to be faster, more reliable, and more efficient than previous tests. The ImmunoCAP is an excellent example of this newer technology. Not using a reliable assay may affect the diagnosis of atopy and therefore the prescribing of appropriate therapy
In vitro testing can be cost-effective if an appropriately chosen inhalant screening battery of 10 to 12 allergens consisting of the most prevalent pollens, molds, dust mites, and animals in the local environment is used. In children, common allergenic foods are substituted or added. No further testing is necessary if this battery is negative. If the screening battery is positive and if no immunotherapy is considered, additional allergy testing can be performed.