Understanding Low Immunoglobulin E Test Results

In this article, we will take a close look at Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test results. We will understand the role of immunoglobulins in the immune system, the process of IgE testing, and how to interpret the results. We will also discuss the implications of high and low IgE levels.
Nithishwer Mouroug Anand

Nithishwer Mouroug Anand

Nithish is a computational biochemist at the University of Oxford working on alchemical methods for protein-drug interactions.

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Interpreting Immunoglobulin E Test Results

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test results are interpreted by considering the reference range; higher levels may indicate an allergic reaction or parasitic infection. Lower immunoglobin E levels are explained in the MediSearch answer below:

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Immunoglobulins: An Overview

Immunoglobulins are protein molecules produced by plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. They play an essential role in the body's immune response by binding to foreign cells like bacteria and viruses to neutralise them and signal other immune cells to destroy them [1].

Immunoglobulin tests are diagnostic procedures that measure the levels of immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, in your blood. These tests help evaluate your immune system's performance and help diagnose various conditions that affect the levels of immunoglobulins in your body [2].

There are five types of immunoglobulins: IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE. Usually, about 80% is IgG, 15% is IgA, 5% is IgM, 0.2% is IgD, and a trace is IgE in your serum[1]. Each type of immunoglobulin has a unique role in the body's immune response. For example, IgM provides rapid defence against infectious diseases; IgG offers long-term immunity against foreign molecules. IgA is found primarily in the mucus membrane, providing defence against infectious agents, and IgE protects against parasites and triggers allergic reactions. The function of IgD has yet to be fully understood [2].


Immunoglobulin E Tests

An Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test is a laboratory examination measuring the IgE level. The test involves taking a blood sample from the patient, which is then analysed in a laboratory.

A multitude of techniques are used to Identify the amount of IgE present. A few of these techniques include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE), or a Luminex-based multiplex serological assay. These methods use specific anti-human immunoglobulin antibodies or antigens to detect and quantify the presence of IgE in the blood sample [3, 4, 5].

The IgE test is widely used to diagnose allergic diseases, as elevated levels of IgE are typically found in individuals with allergies. It is also used to monitor the effectiveness of allergy treatments and to detect parasitic infections.[6]

Analysing Immunoglobulin E Results

High Immunoglobulin E Levels

As mentioned before, elevated levels of IgE are often associated with allergic diseases, parasitic infections, and certain immune deficiencies. For example, atopic eczema, allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis, and helminthic infections elevate total serum IgE above 1000 IU/mL [6]. In a study of 352 patients with IgE >1000 IU/mL, less than 50% had these conditions, with the rest associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and food allergy [6].

Low Immunoglobulin E Levels

On the other hand, lowered IgE levels might indicate other immunodeficiency states, especially common variable immunodeficiency, which is characterised by recurrent infections, mainly respiratory-related, resulting in structural lung damage [7]. In one study analysing 4013 samples, 1.84% had serum IgE levels<2 kU/L, and of these, 56% had one or more classes of immunoglobulin above/below the reference range for age, and two had a new diagnosis of immunodeficiency [7].


In conclusion, both high and low IgE levels can indicate various health conditions, ranging from allergies and parasitic infections to immune deficiencies. Therefore, it's crucial to interpret IgE test results in the context of other clinical information and symptoms. If you have concerns about your IgE levels, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation.

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Nithishwer Mouroug Anand

Nithishwer Mouroug Anand

Nithish is a Doctoral Researcher in Computational Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. A physicist by training, he applies principles of thermodynamics and computational methods to investigate the interactions between drugs, proteins, and cell membranes. His expertise ranges from single-cell RNA sequencing and cancer genomics to utilizing free energy methods to understand protein biophysics.