Egg and milk allergy in asthmatic children: assessment by immulite allergy food panel, skin prick tests and double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges.Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 1999 Nov-Dec; 27(6):287-93AI
There is a perception that asthmatic symptoms may be worsoned by ingestion of certain foods. This study aimed to investigate whether ingestion of cow's milk or egg might induce respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children. Fifty asthmatic children aged 1.5 to 6 years old, with positive Immulite Food Panel FP5 test results were included in the study. Fifty healthy children within the same age group were accepted as control group. Total serum IgE levels were measured and skin prick tests for food allergens including milk and egg were performed. All of the subjects underwent oral, double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge with fresh egg and cow's milk powder. Two medical histories were confirmed by double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge in 9 patients (22.2%). Skin prick tests were positive in 9 patients (18%) with milk and 18 patients (36%) with egg antigen. Two children experienced wheezing, one after ingesting milk and the other after egg challenge (4%). In the control group no positive reactions were seen with egg or milk challenges. Our findings confirm that food allergy can elicit asthma in children, but its incidence is low, even with major allergens such as egg and milk. History, specific IgE determinations and skin prick tests are not reliable in diagnosing food reactions. Since any diet can cause rapid deficiencies in infancy, diet restrictions must not be applied, without performing double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge.