Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome: 16-year experience.Pediatrics 2009; 123(3):e459-64Ped
The goal was to examine the demographic characteristics, causative foods, clinical features, treatments, and outcomes for children presenting with acute food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome.
This was a retrospective study of children with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome who presented to the Children's Hospital at Westmead (Sydney, Australia) over 16 years.
Thirty-five children experienced 66 episodes of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. The mean age at initial presentation was 5.5 months. Children frequently experienced multiple episodes before a correct diagnosis was made. Twenty-nine children reacted to 1 food, and 6 reacted to 2 foods. Causative foods for the 35 children were rice (n = 14), soy (n = 12), cow's milk (n = 7), vegetables and fruits (n = 3), meats (n = 2), oats (n = 2), and fish (n = 1). In the 66 episodes, vomiting was the most common clinical feature (100%), followed by lethargy (85%), pallor (67%), and diarrhea (24%). A temperature of <36 degrees C at presentation was recorded for 24% of episodes. A platelet count of >500 x 10(9) cells per L was recorded for 63% of episodes with blood count results. Only 2 of the 19 children who presented to an emergency department with their initial reactions were discharged with correct diagnoses. Additional investigations of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome episodes presenting to the hospital were common, with 34% of patients undergoing abdominal imaging, 28% undergoing a septic evaluation, and 22% having a surgical consultation. Prognosis was good, with high rates of resolution for the 2 most common food triggers (ie, rice and soy) by 3 years of age.
Misdiagnosis and delays in diagnosis for children with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome were common, leading many children to undergo unnecessary, often painful investigations. Decreased body temperature and thrombocytosis emerge as additional features of the syndrome.