Elevated serum immunoglobulin e (IgE): When to suspect hyper-IgE syndrome-A 10-year pediatric tertiary care center experience

Avni Y. Joshi, Vivek N. Iyer, Thomas G. Boyce, John B. Hagan, Miguel A. Park, Roshini S. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Elevated serum immunoglobulin E(IgE) can be caused by allergies, infections and immune conditions including hyper IgE syndrome (HIES). HIES is a rare primary immunodeficiency disease most commonly characterized by a triad of findings, including increased serum IgE levels, recurrent skin abscesses, and pneumonias leading to pneumatocele formation. The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical profile of patients presenting with increased IgE levels (<2000 IU/mL) focusing specifically on HIES. A database search identified 70 patients in the pediatric age range (<18 yrs.) between January 1997 and December 2006 who had an IgE level of > IU/mL. Charts were abstracted for clinical diagnosis, comorbidities, and laboratory parameters. Data were analyzed using the students t-test, Wilcoxon signed rank test, and univariate/multivariate regression models. Clinical diagnosis in 70 patients with elevated IgE levels were: atopic diseases (n = 54; 77%), parasitic diseases (n = 1; 1.5%), malignancy (n = 2; 3%), and HIES (n = 6; 8%), among other causes. There was a statistically significant association between IgE levels and the severity of eczema (p = 0.009). Ninety percent of the subjects with IgE level > IU/mL did not have HIES. There was no correlation between IgE levels and the diagnosis of HIES (p = 0.5). A variety fclinical situations result in an elevated IgE level, with atopy being the most common cause. In the absence of ypical clinical eatures, elevated serum IgE levels are not predictive of HIES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Allergy
  • Atopy
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Hyper-ige syndrome
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Parasite
  • Pediatrics
  • Stat3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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