Allergic and nonallergic forms of atopic diseases

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Aug;112(2):252-62. doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.1595.


Atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma are atopic diseases that develop on a complex genetic background, the so-called atopic diathesis. Although they target different organs, in most patients they are characterized by the presence of elevated total serum IgE levels. However, a subgroup of atopic patients exhibits normal IgE levels and mechanisms contributing to the so-called "intrinsic" or "nonallergic form" have been the matter of intensive research work in the last years. Because of the rapid advancements in the research field of atopic diseases, it now becomes possible for the first time to delineate a new disease classification of allergic and nonallergic subtypes of atopic diseases, thereby bringing hope to the clinician for a more specific treatment approach for each subgroup of these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / blood*
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / blood*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood*


  • Immunoglobulin E