Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Animal dander is one of the most common respiratory allergens in children, and there is evidence that cat sensitivity is a risk factor for asthma and allergic rhinitis. In this study, it was aimed to evaluate children with cat sensitivity and to identify their demographic and clinical characteristics. Materials and methods: Patients who were found to be sensitive to cats following skin prick tests performed in our allergy clinic over a period of one year (and two control groups), were included in the study. Patients in the study and control groups filled in a questionnaire including demographic and clinical characteristics. Results: The prevalence of cat sensitivity in our allergy clinic was 6% (182/3033). The most common diagnoses in patients were 41.8% allergic rhinitis, 25.8% asthma, and 13.2% allergic rhinitis + asthma. Allergic rhinitis symptoms were the most prevalent symptom associated with cat contact (29.4%), whereas 28% of the patients were asymptomatic. Only 17.3% had a cat at home and 13.4% had cat exposure apart from home but having a cat at home was significantly higher than the control groups (p < 0.05). Eosinophilia was present in 54.6% of the patients, and 17.3% had blood tIgE levels of >1000 IU/mL. Eosinophilia and tIgE levels were significantly higher than both control groups (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Cat ownership can affect the development of cat sensitivity but the majority of patients with cat sensitivity are not cat owners. Elevated tIgE levels (> 1000 IU/mL) may be associated with cat sensitivity, these patients should be evaluated for cat sensitivity, even if they do not report symptoms with cat contact.


Allergic rhinitis, asthma, cat, cat sensitivity, total IgE

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