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Why do I have high IgE level?

Q: I am a 46 years old woman who has had pneumonia 3 times in a year and a recurrent sore throat. The doctor did immunoglobin estimation and my IgE was found high. I have been taking Prednisone for the last 15 or 20 years. Does Prednisone have anything to do with the elevated serum IgE?

A:There is a possibility that you are having either a) Tropical Eosinophilia or b) Worm infestation. I think you should get your total eosinophil count done in the peripheral blood. A high eosinophil count is suggestive of Tropical eosinophilia. If the total count is more than 2000 cells/cmm you should take specific treatment for Tropical eosinophilia. Raised levels of IgE are also seen in helminthic infestation (most commonly round worms). Many helminths including round worms pass through lungs during larval stage (developmental stage). In many patients they produce pneumonitis during their passage. Stool examination for the ova of these worms sometimes helps in establishing diagnosis. Treatment for these conditions is straight forward.

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