Is allergy screening of blood donors necessary? A comparison between questionnaire answers and the presence of circulating IgE antibodies

Vox Sang. 1995;69(2):114-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.1995.tb01680.x.


We investigated 477 consecutive blood donors on order to find the predictive value of a questionnaire as a screening method for preventing passive transfer of IgE antibodies to common allergens that might cause transfusion reactions. Of the 477 donors, 119 (24.9%) claimed to be allergic and 358 (75.1%) recorded no allergic complaints. Serological examination with Phadiatop and a multi-allergen mix for food (fx5) detected IgE antibodies in only 54.5% of the allegedly allergic blood donors. Among the allegedly asymptomatic donors, 12.3% showed positive results in these tests. Subsequently, radioallergosorbent test analyses with common inhalant and food allergens were performed to specify the IgE responses obtained. Our results demonstrate a remarkable difference between the questionnaire answers and the serological measurements of IgE antibodies and raise the question of whether - and if so, what kind of - allergy screening is warranted among presumptive blood donors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Blood Donors* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / prevention & control*
  • Immunization, Passive / adverse effects*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Radioallergosorbent Test
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transfusion Reaction*


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E