The Interdependence of Allergic and Inflammatory Processes

  • Lawrence M. Lichtenstein


In a widely accepted system of classification, allergic reactions have been divided by Gell and Coombs into four different categories (1). Their definition of allergy is the classical one, rather than the limited modern or clinical definition, and, therefore, purports to encompass the totality of reactions which involve the immune system. While this classification has served a useful role, it will be the purpose of this discussion to review recent data which suggests that allergic reactions are an integral part of the whole range of inflammatory responses, and, perhaps, should no longer be divided in this fashion. It will be suggested, instead, that these responses, which are of major importance in both defense mechanisms and in disease processes, have a pathogenesis in which each of the traditional types of allergic response are so inextricably intermingled that they are best considered as constituting a continuum.


Histamine Prostaglandin Theophylline Rhinitis Nephritis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence M. Lichtenstein
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at the Good Samaritan HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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