[Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) in 14 children].Arch Pediatr 2017; 24(4):310-316AP
Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is a particular non-IgE-mediated food allergy, manifested by profuse and repetitive vomiting with hypotonia and lethargy in its acute form.
A retrospective descriptive single-center study was conducted. Subjects included in this study were children with acute FPIES who consulted the allergy outpatient clinic of the Nancy Regional University Hospital between November 2013 and June 2016.
Among the 14 patients (eight boys and six girls), nine had a history of atopy: a family history for six (42.8%) and a personal history for five (35.7%). Three had chronic FPIES turning into acute FPIES. Cow milk was the most common triggering food (50%), followed by fish (21.4%), mussels (14.3%), wheat (7.1%), egg (7.1%), and poultry (7.1%). The average time from ingestion to symptom onset was 90minutes. The symptoms were typical and diarrhea was not systematic (42.8%). Six children were hospitalized, some of them several times, including once in intensive care for one patient. The treatments established were, in order of frequency: oral or intravenous rehydration, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and antiemetics. Diagnosis time was 7.6 months on average; it was significantly shorter for milk than for solid foods (1.4 vs. 12 months, P-value=0.02), on average after two episodes. Another diagnosis than FPIES was raised at first for five patients (acute gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, and bowel obstruction caused by bowel volvulus). Allergy tests were initially negative. Two chronic FPIES cases (one milk FPIES and one milk and wheat FPIES) developed an acute FPIES to another food (fish and mussels); one patient changed from an acute fish FPIES to an IgE-mediated phenotype over time. FPIES resolved for four patients: three milk FPIES, on average 15.7 months after the first reaction, and one wheat FPIES, 2.5 years after the first reaction. A child with a white fish FPIES was able to introduce salmon and tuna.
FPIES is a pathology that has suffered from a lack of knowledge, delaying diagnosis for many months. The progression of chronic forms to acute forms and acute forms to an IgE-mediated allergy is not rare. Doctors need more detailed knowledge: profuse and repetitive vomiting accompanied by hypotonia and/or lethargy should suggest the diagnosis of acute FPIES. To improve the management of acute FPIES, a treatment protocol is proposed here.