Diagnosing a food allergy can be a complicated process, and one that often causes anxiety for patients and parents. To diagnose a food allergy, allergists may combine a patient’s medical history with the results of skin prick or blood tests. These methods, however, cannot determine how severely the patient will react to a food. This is why oral food challenges are the current gold standard for diagnosing food allergies or determining if a patient has outgrown a food allergy. These food challenges should only be performed by an experienced allergist at a medical facility where the appropriate medications and equipment are available.
Now a new type of testing, basophil activation testing (BAT), may be able to provide the answers to the questions, “Am I allergic?” and “How allergic am I?” new study led by Mount Sinai researchers and published online today in the The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. A study led by researchers at Mount Sinai and published online April 1, 2015 in The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology sought to determine the accuracy of this test compared to oral food challenges.
The double-blinded study investigated 67 patients, aged 12-45 years, who were undergoing oral food challenges. They compared the results of the challenges to that of the BAT test, showing a strong positive correlation of the two tests, about 82 percent overlap. Researchers concluded that BAT testing may improve the current testing options available to allergists and patients for diagnosing food allergy and predicting severity. a new study led by Mount Sinai researchers and published online today in the The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. new study led by Mount Sinai researchers and published online today in the The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
At this time, BAT testing is only approved for use in the research setting. Suspected food allergies should always be evaluated and diagnosed by a qualified medical professional, such as a board-certified allergist. To learn more about diagnosing and testing, visit http://www.foodallergy.org/diagnosis-and-testing.