American College of Physicians*
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The identification of those allergenic substances that may be responsible for producing or aggravating diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema, urticaria, anaphylaxis, and gastrointestinal reactions is frequently important for effective patient care. Most allergens trigger symptoms by reacting with specific IgE antibodies on mast cells and basophils in target tissues, resulting in the release of potent vascular and smooth muscle-reacting mediators such as histamine and leukotrienes, and generation of inflammation with infiltration by lymphocytes and eosinophils.
Sometimes the allergen responsible for an allergic reaction is obvious from the patient's history. If not, testing may be advisable to identify the
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American College of Physicians*. Allergy Testing. Ann Intern Med. 1989;110:317-320. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-110-4-317
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(4):317-320.
Healthcare Delivery and Policy, Prevention/Screening.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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