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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 629187, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/629187
Research Article

Latex Hypersensitivity among Allergic Egyptian Children: Relation to Parental/Self Reports

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Unit, Children’s Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Received 30 August 2014; Accepted 23 October 2014; Published 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Hisako Matsumoto

Copyright © 2014 Zeinab A. El-Sayed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Latex allergy is one of the major health concerns and allergic reactions to latex may be serious and fatal. Purpose. In this study, we sought to determine the frequency of latex hypersensitivity in a group of allergic Egyptian infants and children and its relation to the history provided by the patients or caregivers. Methods. We consecutively enrolled 400 patients with physician diagnosed allergic diseases. The study measurements included clinical evaluation for the site and duration of allergy, history suggestive of latex allergy, family history of allergy, and skin prick testing (SPT) using a commercial latex extract. Results. The study revealed that 16/400 (4%) patients had positive SPT; 11 of them only had positive history of sensitivity to latex. Positive latex SPT was reported in 3.4% (11/326) of patients with bronchial asthma, 5.9% (7/118) of patients with skin allergy, and 4.5% (2/44) of patients with allergic rhinitis. SPT was positive in 7.4% (4/54) of patients with concomitant respiratory and skin allergy. Latex SPT was more specific than sensitive (97.69% and 77.77%, resp.) with a negative predictive value of 99.47%. Conclusion. Although underrecognized, latex is an important allergen in the pediatric age group with a sensitization frequency of 4% among allergic children. It was observed to be especially associated with multiple allergic diseases coexisting in the same patient. Pediatric allergologists should educate their patients on latex allergy and encourage the use of latex-free products.