Allergy Asthma Respir Dis.  2016 Mar;4(2):119-125. 10.4168/aard.2016.4.2.119.

Usefulness of specific IgE antibody levels to wheat, gluten, and ω-5 gliadin for wheat allergy in Korean children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


The aim of this study was to assess the clinical usefulness and added diagnostic value of specific IgE antibodies to wheat, gluten, and ω-5 gliadin in diagnosing wheat allergy and distinguishing wheat anaphylaxis.
This study included 196 children who visited Ajou University Hospital for suspicious food allergy. The subjects were divided into 2 groups: the wheat allergy (WA) and non-wheat allergy (non-WA) groups. Patients with wheat allergy were further divided into 2 subgroups according to their symptoms: the wheat allergy with anaphylaxis (WA(Ana)) and wheat allergy without anaphylaxis (WA(Non-Ana)) groups. Serum concentrations of total IgE and specific IgE antibodies to wheat, gluten and ω-5 gliadin were measured.
The median values of specific IgE antibodies to wheat, gluten and ω-5 gliadin were significantly higher in the WA group than in the non-WA group, and the positive decision points (95% specificity) were at 3.12, 2.61, and 0.21 kUA/L, respectively. The combination of specific IgE antibodies to wheat and ω-5 gliadin resulted in the highest accuracy of 93.9% in diagnosing wheat allergy. In differentiating the WA(Ana) group from the WA(Non-Ana) group, only specific IgE antibody to ω-5 gliadin showed a significant difference at the optimal cutoff point of 1.56 kUA/L.
Our results show that the individual levels of specific IgE antibodies to wheat, gluten or ω-5 gliadin may have a considerably high accuracy in diagnosing wheat allergy and that specific IgE antibody to ω-5 gliadin may be particularly useful in predicting wheat anaphylaxis.


Wheat hypersensitivity; Wheat; Glutens; Gliadin; Anaphylaxis

MeSH Terms

Food Hypersensitivity
Immunoglobulin E*
Wheat Hypersensitivity*
Immunoglobulin E


  • Fig. 1 Receiver operating characteristic curves represent sensitivity and specificity of specific IgE to wheat (solid), gluten (dotted), and ω-5 gliadin (dashed). (A) WA vs. Non-WA, (B) WAAna vs. WANon-Ana. WA, wheat allergy; Non-WA, non-wheat allergy; WAAna, wheat allergy with anaphylaxis; WANon-Ana, wheat allergy without anaphylaxis; AUC, area under the curve.


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