Scientific publications

Cellular allergen stimulation test (CAST) 2003, a review

de Weck AL, Sanz ML [SP].
Department of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Clinica Universitaria de Navarra, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Magazine: Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology

Date: Oct 1, 2004

Allergology and Immunology Department

Specific diagnosis of immediate type allergies, such as rhinoconjunctivis, asthma, urticaria/angioedema and anaphylaxis, particularly when IgE-mediated, traditionally rests on prick and/or intradermal skin tests and, since about 30 years, on the determination of allergen specific IgEs.

Some cellular tests, i.e. tests determining the reactivity of blood cells in vitro, particularly basophils, to allergens, have been available for many years. The determination of histamine release has been widely used in allergy pathophysiological research but its routine application in allergy diagnosis has been restricted to few groups. Basophil degranulation, as determined by microscopic examination, was promoted by some groups in the 1980's but has been largely abandoned since around 10 years ago; an alternative cellular test, based on the determination of sulfidoleukotrienes (LTC4, LTD4, LTE4) produced by IL-3 primed basophils stimulated by allergens in vitro, has been proposed.

This test became available commercially in 1993 under the name of CAST (Bühlmann Laboratories, Allschwil, Switzerland). The CAST assay has been used in allergy diagnosis in a variety of indications, such as inhalation allergies, allergies to insect venoms, foods, occupational allergens and various drugs. A large number of reports on CAST diagnostic value, however, have been anecdotal. A meta-analysis of validated and well controlled studies encompasses 37 studies, 1614 patients and 1145 controls.

This should definitely establish the value of this diagnostic test, particularly in instances where other in vitro or in vivo diagnostic tests are not reliable, such as food or drug allergies, as well as in non-IgE-mediated immediate hypersensitivity reactions. However, a number of questions about the CAST diagnostic assay are still open or have not been systematically explored. This may explain, in addition to the practical limitations inherent to all allergy cellular tests, why CAST has not yet become a very widely used assay worldwide, having gained broad acceptance in some countries but not in others.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2004;14(4):253-73

you mayBE INTERESTED

WHAT TECHNOLOGY
DO WE USE?

The Clínica is the greater private hospital with technological equipment of Spain, all in a single center.

Imagen de un PET, tecnología de vanguardia en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

OUR
PROFESSIONALS

The professionals of the Clínica perform continuous research and training, always to the benefit of the patient.

Imagen profesionales de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

WHY CHOOSE
THE CLINICA?

Learn why we are different from other healthcare centers. Quality, speed, comfort and results.

Imagen del edificio de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra