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Allergic and Immunolgic Profile of Symptomatic Persian Gulf War Veterans

Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1081-1206(10)62969-9
  • Medicine


Background Persian Gulf War Veterans have been enrolled in the Veterans Administration Persian Gulf Health Registry for evaluation of unexplained symptoms and illnesses. The allergy and immunology division at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center evaluated 20 consecutive symptomatic Persian Gulf War vetersans. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the immunologic profiles of symptomatic Persian Gulf War veterans. Methods A detailed history was obtained that included duties/responsiblities, length of time in the Persian Gulf, location, and exposures during the Gulf War. A complete physical examination was performed, with extensive laboratory testing and immediate and delayed hypersensitivity skin testing. Data from these Persian Gulf War veterans were compared with a control population consisting of 44 non-Persian Gulf War veterans enrolled in our allergy and immunology clinic. Presenting allergic symptoms, presence of atopy, and total serum IgE levels were compared. Results Persian Gulf study patients and registry patients had a broad spectrum of nonspecific symptoms as compared with allergy clinic control paitents who had dermatologic and respiratory symptoms. Persian Gulf study patients with allergy symptoms had a higher mean IgE level (88.7 IU/mL) than Persian Gulf study patients without allergy symptoms (47.5 IU/mL). Persian Gulf study patients with positive skin tests had a higher mean IgE level (161.5 IU/mL) than Persian Gulf study patients with negative skin tests (22.3 IU/mL). Laboratory data showed no significant immune abnormalitites. Conclusion Our study showed that 20 Persian Gulf veterans with a multitude of nonspecific symptoms had no immune abnormality. Mean IgE levels and eosinophil counts correlated with atopic state and reported allergy symptoms

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