What is involved in allergy test?

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2001 - 10:58am
sjmaw's picture
Joined: 10/31/2002 - 09:00

pWhat is involved in allergy tests? What is a RAST test or a CAP RAST test? Is it a big process? Is it really hard for the child who is having the test done? We are to have it done on the 13th of April and I want to know what to expect. Thank youbr /

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2001 - 10:31pm
Dana's picture
Joined: 12/26/1999 - 09:00

Hi Susan,
A RAST test is done by taking blood. These results come back in degrees of the level of "allergen specific IGE antibodies" to the particular substance being tested. A level "0" means the antibodies are absent or undetectable. A level "4" shows very high levels of antibodies and levels "5" and "6" are considered the "highest" . This can be somewhat confusing because even if a child comes back with a "low" level they are still considered allergic and can still have an anaphylactic reaction so their care giver needs to be prepared for this at all times. My son was just over a year when he had his first RAST test done. They tested for milk, wheat, peanut, soybean, alpha-lactalbumin, casein, and egg. He came back negative for all of the tests except peanuts where he is considered a level "4". He is now just over three and we are currently waiting for the RAST test results on twelve different tree nuts. The first test was more difficult because of his age and they had to stick him a few times before they could find a good vein and because it was hard to explain what was happening at that age. This last test went very smoothly. They have smaller needles called butterfly needled that make it easier to poke little veins. He only said "ouch" and they were able to take three vials with no problem. I told him ahead of time that it was going to prick him and hurt for a second so he was prepared. They will have you sit your child in your lap to help keep them comfortable. Where we live, we take Oakley to the hospital to have the blood drawn and then the results come back in three to four weeks.
Take Care

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