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What are some causes of an elevated immunoglobulin E level?

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Quick Answer

An elevated immunoglobulin level may indicate certain medical conditions, such as a parasitic infection, an allergic reaction, an autoimmune disorder and hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome. Doctors may order an immunoglobulin E (IgE) screening blood test to assist in the diagnosis, as noted by Lab Tests Online.

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Full Answer

Immunoglobulins are antibodies in blood. There are different types of antibodies found in different body regions. IgE antibodies are specific types associated with the mucous membranes of the body and lungs, states WebMD. An IgE blood test is useful for allergic conditions because these antibodies react to different types of allergens, such as pollen, dander or foods. When this occurs there is an increase in IgE levels.

An elevated level of IgE can also indicate other conditions, such as asthma and some forms of cancer. For adults, the normal range level for IgE is from 3 to 423 IU/ml, as noted by WebMD. IgE blood levels may also be high in a condition called hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome. This is a rare genetic disorder in which patients have skin infections and other health issues related to bones, teeth and the lungs, according to MedlinePlus. The condition is also referred to as Job syndrome due to the skin infections associated with the condition. Symptoms of this rare condition are the formation of skin pustules and lung infections.

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