Friday, July 20, 2007

Latex sensitization in spina bifida appears disease-associated.

Szépfalusi Z, Seidl R, Bernert G, Dietrich W, Spitzauer S, Urbanek R. Latex sensitization in spina bifida appears disease-associated. Journal of Pediatrics. 1999 Mar;134(3):344-8.

OBJECTIVE: The high prevalence of latex sensitization (up to 80%) in patients with spina bifida (SB) has been attributed to repeated exposure to latex products, whereas disease-associated factors have not been considered.

METHODS: We compared children with SB (n = 21) and children with posthemorrhagic or congenital hydrocephalus (PH, n = 32), all of whom had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt since young age. Latex sensitization, number of operations, atopic history, and total IgE levels were evaluated.

RESULTS: The following characteristics were recorded: age (SB: 52 months, range 1 to 264 months; PH: 71 months, range 1 to 192 months) and mean number of operations (SB: 2. 09; PH: 2.53). Of the SB group, 43% (9 of 21) showed elevated latex-specific IgE antibodies in contrast to 6% (2 of 32) in the PH group (P <.01). Latex-specific IgE antibodies were detected by 1 year of age, and one surgical operation was sufficient to induce latex-specific IgE-antibody production in patients with SB.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the SB population bears a disease-associated propensity for latex sensitization. Sensitization to latex antigens may occur after the very first contact, arguing for latex avoidance measures from the very beginning of life.

PMID: 10064673

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