Sensitization in early age to food allergens in children with atopic dermatitis.Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2007 Jan-Feb; 35(1):15-20AI
Clinical and laboratory evidence increasingly supports the notion that food allergy plays a role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). However, the prevalence of clinically significant food hypersensitivity among children with AD remains an unanswered question.
To prospectively determine the prevalence of IgE-mediated food hypersensitivity among patients referred to a dermatology department for evaluation of AD, and to analyze the clinical relevance of these sensitizations in AD.
We studied 44 infants of both sexes, aged less than 12 months old, who attended the dermatology department with symptoms of AD. Compliance with Hanifin-Rajka criteria was confirmed and the severity of AD was evaluated using the SCORAD index. IgE-mediated sensitization to cow's milk, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, casein, egg-white, egg-albumin, ovomucoid and foods introduced into the diet was studied using the skin prick test (SPT) and measurement of specific serum IgE (sIgE) by CAP System fluorescein-enzyme immunoassay. Cow's milk, as well as suspected foods from the clinical history or those with a positive SPT and/or sIgE, were withdrawn from the diet to evaluate improvement in AD, and an open controlled challenge test was carried out.
Of the 44 patients studied, sensitization to foods was detected in 27 (61 %). No changes were observed in AD during the elimination diet or when the eliminated foods were subsequently reintroduced into the diet. The results of open controlled food challenges were positive in 12 patients (27 %).
A high prevalence of food sensitization was found in infants with AD. The most frequent sensitization observed was to egg, although with little clinical relevance since this food had not been introduced into the diet. In the sample studied, the clinical relevance of the observed food hypersensitivities was confirmed in relation to AD. Further studies are required to confirm these results.