Background: Studies on serum IgE levels during pregnancy are limited. Objective: To investigate the course of serum total IgE levels during pregnancy and postpartum. Methods: 159 pregnant subjects provided 218 serum samples during various stages of pregnancy and the postpartum period. Serum total IgE geometric means were compared at various trimesters and postpartum. In addition, the postpartum IgE data were analysed according to the method of delivery. Analysis was also done according to history of allergy. Results: The geometric mean serum total IgE was 20.5 IU/ml in the first trimester, 20.8 IU/ml in the second and 22.2 IU/ml in the third. Postpartum serum IgE level showed a lower mean, 14.9 IU/ml during the early postpartum period (less than 30 days) compared to 30.3 IU/ml during the late postpartum period (30 days-25 weeks). However this was not statistically significant. Serum IgE in the postpartum period also did not differ according to method of delivery. A history of allergy was positive in 98 samples, negative in 61 and unclear in 59. Using analysis of variance, none of these three groups showed significant change in serum total IgE level during pregnancy or postpartum. Conclusion: In this cross-sectional study, serum total IgE levels showed no statistically significant changes during pregnancy or postpartum. This finding would be of greater weight if reproduced in a larger number of subjects with multiple serial samples at fixed regular time intervals during pregnancy and postpartum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine