Selective IgE deficiency, immune dysregulation, and autoimmunity

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2014 Mar-Apr;35(2):e27-33. doi: 10.2500/aap.2014.35.3734.


Selective IgE deficiency (IgED) is currently defined as a significant decrease in serum levels of IgE (<2 kIU/L) in a patient whose other immunoglobulin levels are normal. There are no published large-scale epidemiological studies regarding the prevalence of and clinical features of IgED. In the population-based case-control study, we investigated clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with IgED. Case samples were drawn from all subjects (n = 18487), with serum total IgE measurement during 2012 at Leumit Health Care Services (Israel) and had serum total IgE of <2 kIU/L. The control group was randomly sampled from the remaining 18,261 subjects with a case-control ratio of four controls for each case (1:4). Comorbid diseases were identified by specific International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic codes given by the corresponding board-certificated physicians. Two hundred twenty-six subjects showed serum total IgE levels of <2 kIU/L; 68 (30.9%) were between the ages of 4 and 12 years (children) and 250 (69.1%) were ≥12 years old (adults). Matched control groups were selected for each age group. The children group was characterized by higher prevalence of asthma and hyperreactive airways disease; and both children and adult groups had significantly higher prevalence of chronic sinusitis, otitis media, autoimmune, and oncological diseases than their respective controls. Undetectable serum total IgE may serve as a marker of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Infections / etiology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Immunoglobulin E