Repeated latex aeroallergen challenges employing a hooded exposure chamber: Safety and reproducibility

K. M. Kurtz, R. G. Hamilton, J. A. Schaefer, M. N. Primeau, N. F. Adkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Bronchial, nasal, and conjunctival challenges are useful for clarifying discordant clinical history (Hx) and skin and/or serologic tests and in assessing semiquantitative changes in biologic sensitivity over time. The objective of this study was to determine the safety and reproducibility of repeated latexallergen challenges with a hooded exposure chamber (HEC). Methods: The HEC system comprises a powered forced-air respirator with a fitted face shield and hood that uses glove-derived latex-allergen associated cornstarch particles (LAC) to expose simultaneously the conjunctiva, nose, and lungs. Serial control and incremental LAC challenges are conducted until an endpoint based on upper and/or lower respiratory tract symptoms and peak expiratory flow rates is reached. Six latex-allergic (Hx and puncture skin test [PST]- and 5/6 radioallergosorbent test [RAST]-positive) subjects were challenged on three separate occasions at least 2 weeks apart. Serial latex PST midpoints and serum anti-latex IgE by RAST were monitored at each visit and at a fourth follow-up visit. Results: All subjects responded to LAC, but not to air or control cornstarch administered as controls. All responses were confined to mild symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and/or asthma that either resolved spontaneously or were reversed with inhaled albuterol. No subject experienced a systemic or delayed reaction. There were no significant changes in the endpoint LAC doses over the three challenge visits (P > 0.2). The mean coefficient of variation for log2 endpoints within-subjects was 17.3 ± 17.2% (SD). The serum latex-specific IgE was not significantly boosted by the three challenges (P > 0.2). The concentration of latex extract necessary to produce an 8-mm wheal by PST was not significantly changed during the study (P>0.1), indicating that latex sensitivity was not affected by the repeated LAC exposures. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that repeated HEC latex-allergen challenges are both reproducible and safe, and do not increase latex sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-861
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aeroallergen challenge
  • Latex allergy
  • Occupational allergy
  • Occupational asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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