RAST blood test

RAST blood test

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Credit: PAUL RAPSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. RAST blood test. Doctor taking blood from the arm of a 10-year-old boy to perform an allergy screen. The blood will be sent to a lab to undergo a radioallergosorbent (RAST) test, which is used to identify if a patient has a 'true' allergy. The blood is mixed with the suspected allergen and then checked for IgE antibodies. If they are present the patient has an allergy. IgE is produced by white blood cells. It interacts with the allergen-causing chemicals, for example histamine, to be produced. Such chemicals cause the symptoms of an allergy. A RAST test is performed when there is the risk of the patient having a severe allergic reaction to the allergen.

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