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Phadia’s F84 test is used to detect blood levels of the IgE (antibodies) responsible for allergic reactions to kiwi. The IgE detected in the test may be kiwi-specific but are frequently associated with cross allergies to birch pollen, avocado, banana, chestnuts, hazelnuts, barley grains and latex. The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to kiwi, but not necessarily the severity of the reaction. Case history (symptoms, relation to meals, snacks, etc.) and clinical examination by the physician are essential for a reliable interpretation of the results.

A negative anti-kiwi IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that kiwi is probably not responsible for the symptoms reported by the person, but it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. Both negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. The double-blind oral food challenge remains the definitive technique for confirming the presence or absence of a food allergy to kiwi.

Term of the Week

Predictive medicine

Medicine that links medical knowledge with data to predict a patient’s potential health problems. Examples include artificial intelligence and genetics.