Ethylene oxide allergy in children with spina bifida

Thomas Pittman, Jean Kiburz, George Steinhardt, Jeremy Krock, Keith Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Allergic reactions to ethylene oxide (EtO)-treated products have occurred in several children with myelomeningoceles. Objective: The object of this study was to define the prevalence and significance of EtO-specific IgE among the children in our myelomeningocele clinic. Methods: The study population comprised three groups: children with myelomeningoceles, chronically ill controls (defined as children who had undergone at least three major operations), and well-child controls. Serum specimens were collected from each child, and a commercially available ELISA designed to identify IgE directed against both EtO and latex was performed on the specimens. Results: Seventeen of 75 (23%) children with myelomeningoceles had antibodies directed against EtO, as did 1 of 26 (4%) chronically ill controls. None of the 25 well controls had detectable levels of anti-EtO IgE. Children with antibodies directed against EtO were more likely to be atopic (p = 0.007) and to have a shunt (p = 0.021) and were markedly more likely to have antibodies directed against latex (p < 0.001). On average they had undergone more shunt revisions and other operations than had children without anti-EtO antibodies. Conclusion: During the period of study no child had anaphylaxis thought to have been due to EtO exposure. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995;96:486-8.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-488
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • Ethylene oxide
  • allergy
  • latex
  • myelomeningocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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