Oral Medicine| Volume 93, ISSUE 2, P144-148, February 2002

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Reported latex allergy in dental patients


      Objective. The purpose of this study was to alert doctors of dental surgery to the possibility of latex sensitivity in both outpatients and inpatients. Study Design. The study involved 2 groups: group A was composed of 21 subjects with a history of immediate reaction in dental environment; group B was composed of 24 healthy individuals. Patients underwent skin prick tests with common inhalant allergens, with latex cross-reacting foods, with a commercial extract of nonammoniated latex, and the incremental challenge test with local anesthetics. Specific IgE to latex and to latex cross-reacting foods were measured with the fluorescent enzyme immunoassay. Results. All patients in group A and none in group B were latex-allergic. Subjects who were latex-allergic were significantly more likely to be atopic and had positive IgE test to cross-reactive foods. Conclusions. Dentists and people working in a dental surgery environment must obtain detailed patient history to help identify individuals at risk of latex allergy or those actually allergic to latex. If an allergy exists, equipment used should be made of alternative materials.(Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2002;93:144-8)
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