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Diagnosis and Treatment of Latex Allergy

  • Kevin J. Kelly
  • Brian T. Kelly
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 5)

The diagnosis and treatment of latex allergy is one of the most challenging problems confronting the clinician. Because natural rubber latex is a plant derived product of Hevea brasiliensis, variations in allergen total content, quantity of specific allergens in finished products, and variations in the individual allergens may occur during collection, storage and manufacture of finished rubber products. Thus, not all rubber products will result in sensitization or clinical reactions in patients. Because the human immune system is highly variable, an individual will not always react in the same manner when encountering an allergen such as latex. For example, a cluster of anaphylactic reactions in patients with spina bifida characterized in the early 1990s, resulted in one out of every eight individuals undergoing surgery over a single year for spina bifida developed intra-operative anaphylaxis. However, many latex allergic individuals in this cohort had multiple surgeries during a period when latex precautions were not known to be necessary. Despite this lack of precaution, some surgeries resulted in severe anaphylaxis while other surgeries were performed without incident in the same individual using latex products [1, 2].

Having a complete understanding of the clinical manifestations of latex allergy is necessary to make a correct diagnosis and plan of treatment. This chapter builds on the presentation in a chapter from volume 3[132] that outlines a comprehensive review about the clinical manifestations of latex allergy. To obtain complete knowledge of the subject, a review of latex allergens, available tests, and therapy will be outlined.

Keywords

Health Care Worker Allergy Clin Immunol Spina Bifida Natural Rubber Latex Allergy Asthma Immunol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Missouri Kansas City School of MedicineKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Medical College of WisconsinUSA

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