Original ArticleTotal Serum IgE in Trimellitic Anhydride-Induced AsthmaBackman, Kenneth S. MD; Shaughnessy, Martha A. BS; Harris, Kathleen E. BS; Grammer, Leslie C. MDAuthor Information From the Division of Allergy-Immunology and the Ernest S. Bazley Asthma and Allergic Diseases Center of the Department of Medicine of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois. Address correspondence to: Leslie Grammer, MD, Northwestern University Medical School, Division of Allergy-Immunology, 303 E. Chicago Ave. MC # S207, Chicago, IL 60611. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: April 1996 - Volume 38 - Issue 4 - p 347-351 Buy Abstract The objective of this study was to determine whether total serum IgE levels are elevated in workers with trimellitic anhydride-induced asthma as compared with anhydride-exposed workers without an occupational immunologic syndrome. Sera from 12 highly exposed workers with trimellitic anhydride-induced asthma, and from 31 similarly exposed workers without occupational immunologic disease, were assayed for total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels by Total IgE II FAST™ analysis. The mean total IgE levels were 176.74 ng/mL and 34.55 ng/mL respectively. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant, but considerable overlap of IgE levels between groups was seen. In conclusion, although mean total IgE levels are significantly different between TMA-exposed workers with or without occupational asthma, the significant amount of overlap and poor sensitivity of the test preclude the use of this assay in the individual evaluation of these workers. © Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.