Eur J Pediatr Surg 2002; 12: 19-21
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-36866
Original Article

Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttart, New York · Masson Editeur Paris

Reduction of Latex Sensitisation in Spina Bifida Patients by a Primary Prophylaxis Programme (Five Years Experience)

R. Cremer 1 , U. Kleine-Diepenbruck 1 , F. Hering 1 , A. M. Holschneider 1
  • 1Children's Hospital, Paediatric Clinic, Cologne, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 2 August 2002

Publication Date:
13 March 2003 (online)


Spina bifida patients represent a group with the highest risk for latex sensitisation and allergy with life-threatening symptoms mostly during surgery. At the end of 1995 we initiated a primary latex prophylaxis around and during surgery and anaesthesia of all spina bifida patients.

The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of latex sensitisation in the spina bifida patients born during the five years after establishing latex prophylaxis in the Cologne Children's Hospital in December 1995. We investigated 34 serum samples of 27 spina bifida patients (mean age 2.4 years) for specific IgE antibodies against latex allergens (CAP system) and compared these patients born after 1995 with 38 spina bifida patients up to 5 years of age (mean 3.1 years) born before.

In the prophylaxis group two of 27 patients (7 %), one of them with two operations outside the Children's Hospital, had low specific IgE against latex (≤ 0.9 kU/l, 3 and 5 operations). The other patients in this group were not sensitised despite up to 8 operations (min. 1, mean 3.1). In contrast, before introducing the prophylaxis, 16 of 38 patients (42 %) were latex IgE-positive after multiple operations (min. 2, max. 11, mean 4.7) with values of specific IgE up to > 100 kU/l (mean 22.6 kU/l, min 0.4 kU/l). Sera of 22 patients remained negative for latex IgE (min. 1, max. 19, mean 4.3 operations).

By primary latex prophylaxis during surgery, anaesthesia and in paediatric wards the prevalence of latex sensitisation can be significantly reduced even in the high risk group of spina bifida patients. Problems can arise by the need for surgery in hospitals not experienced in the treatment of spina bifida patients, where latex prophylaxis is neglected.


Dr. Reinhold Cremer

Children's Hospital

Amsterdamer Straße 59

50736 Cologne