[Allergy to protein hydrolysates. Report of 30 cases].Arch Pediatr 1999; 6(8):837-43AP
AIM OF THE STUDY
To describe the population of children allergic to cow's milk protein and their usual substitutes made of protein hydrolysates, and who are efficiently taken care of by using Neocate, an amino acid based formula.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Allergy to protein hydrolysates was diagnosed in 30 infants, aged from 15 d to 13 months (median = 3 months), who remained symptomatic while receiving a protein hydrolysate for 15 d to 12 months (median = 1.8 months). After a complete clinical and biological evaluation, an amino acid based diet using Neocate was attempted, followed after one month by an oral challenge test with the protein hydrolysate.
Symptoms occurred mainly in the digestive tract (25 cases) in the form of regurgitations (18 cases), diarrhea (17 cases) and colicky pain (10 cases); failure to thrive was seen in ten cases. Neocate improved the clinical condition rapidly (within 3-10 d), and allowed the children to gain weight (27.5 +/- 10.8 g/d). Skin prick tests with cow's milk hydrolysates were positive in 13 out of 26 children; total IgE was raised in cases of cutaneous symptoms (six cases), and associated with increased specific IgE for cow's milk. During the intestinal permeability test, the lactitol/mannitol ratio which initially increased, decreased following Neocate (6.58 +/- 2.92% vs. 3.47 +/- 1.58%, P = 0.0004). Multiple food allergies were present in 22 cases. During challenge with a hydrolysate, the clinical reaction was immediate in 13 cases, partially delayed in 13 cases and delayed in four cases.
Allergy to cow's milk hydrolysates may occur and has to be considered in the presence of anaphylaxis and also chronic digestive symptoms such as regurgitations, diarrhea and colicky pain, when these symptoms persist during cow's milk free diet.