Increased concentration of fecal alpha1-antitrypsin is associated with cow's milk allergy in infants with atopic eczema.Clin Exp Allergy 2001; 31(4):590-2CE
The use of fecal alpha1-antitrypsin in the monitoring of intestinal inflammation in infants with atopic eczema and food allergy was evaluated.
The study material comprised 26 atopic infants with confirmed food allergy. Fecal samples were collected before an elimination diet and 3 months later for the determination of alpha1-antitrypsin.
Nine (35%) of the 26 patients demonstrated an increased fecal concentration of alpha1-antitrypsin (median 3 mg/g; range 2.8-6.4 mg/g). In all nine patients (100%) the oral cow's milk challenge was positive as opposed to only six (35%) in those with normal alpha1-antitrypsin concentration (P = 0.0024). No further connections between alpha1-antitrypsin and other food allergies were detected. As a result of an adequate elimination diet, the fecal concentration of alpha1-antitrypsin was normalized in seven patients, with a favourable clinical response in atopic eczema in six and no improvement in one patient.
Our results indicate that serial determinations of fecal alpha1-antitrypsin provide a useful non-invasive tool for the detection and follow-up of intestinal inflammation in a certain group of atopic infants with cow's milk allergy and severe inflammation of the gut.