The ImmunoCAP Rapid Wheeze/Rhinitis Child Test Is Useful in the Initial Allergy Diagnosis of Children With Respiratory Symptoms

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2009 Dec;20(8):772-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2009.00866.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.


Recurrent upper or lower respiratory symptoms, possibly allergy-related, are very frequent in childhood. It is therefore important that physicians involved in the primary care of these children have an accurate initial diagnostic tool available. In this study, we investigated the value of an in vitro diagnostic device testing 10 common allergens, the ImmunoCAP Rapid Wheeze/Rhinitis Child, for the primary evaluation of allergy. Children with non-infectious upper or lower respiratory symptoms possibly related to allergy were recruited in the primary health care setting of private practices of physician trained in immunology/allergology. The investigators carried out their usual diagnostic work-up including IgE tests, and the ImmunoCAP Rapid test was performed with capillary whole blood in a blinded way to the investigator. The investigators' conclusions on major triggering allergens were compared to the ImmunoCAP Rapid test results. In the whole patient population (n = 185), the sensitivity of the ImmunoCAP Rapid test for unveiling allergic disease was 92% (95% CI: 86-96%) and the specificity 97% (95% CI: 86-100%). Current guidelines for allergy diagnosis suggest screening children with recurrent, moderate/severe diseases for allergies. For children with asthma falling into these categories, sensitivity was 100% (95% CI: 88-100%) and specificity 100% (95% CI: 69-100%); for children with moderate and severe rhinitis sensitivity was 93% (95% CI: 86-97%) and the specificity 100% (95% CI: 79-100%). The ImmunoCAP Rapid test is an accurate test, in particular with regard to high specificity, for diagnosing allergy in children with recurrent respiratory diseases in primary care settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Allergens / analysis*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / blood
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Allergens
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Immunoglobulin E