American academy of allergy, asthma & immunology membership experience with allergen immunotherapy safety in patients with specific medical conditions

Désirée E S Larenas-Linnemann, David W. Hauswirth, Christopher W. Calabria, Lawrence D. Sher, Matthew A Rank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: Little data in the literature exist concerning patients with certain underlying medical conditions who receive allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT). Objective: To survey allergists' experience with SCIT in patients with medical conditions considered to impose an elevated risk for untoward outcomes. Methods: A Web-based survey was conducted among members of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to query about their experience with SCIT in patients with certain medical conditions. Results: There were 1085 replies (21% response), of whom, 86% were U.S. based, 51% were suburban, 31% were academic, 42% were medium-sized practices, and 54% had >15 years' experience. In responders' opinion, SCIT was "contraindicated" in patients with the following: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (48%), cancer (and still receiving active treatment) (33%), severe asthma (32%), and a history of transplantation (30%). Even so, survey responders collectively gave SCIT to >2400 patients for each of these conditions: severe asthma, coronary artery disease, cancer in remission, and autoimmune disorders; and to ≥5400 patients with hypertension and ≥4100 women who became pregnant. The experience of colleagues with these patients rarely resulted in major problems (i.e., activation of underlying disease, systemic reactions to SCIT, or SCIT discontinuation), with the exception of severe asthma (12.5%), initiation of SCIT during pregnancy (5.4%), and AIDS (4.2%). For most other conditions, it was ≤1.5% (e.g., continue during pregnancy, cancer in remission, history of transplantation, positive human immunodeficiency virus and no AIDS). Conclusion: According to the experience of a large group of practicing allergists, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology members, few medical conditions seemed to pose an elevated risk for untoward outcomes from SCIT. Because these are survey results, prospective research might yield even more solid data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e112-e122
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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