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Clin Exp Allergy. 2011 Sep;41(9):1297-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03749.x. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Oral desensitization as a useful treatment in 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy.

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  • 1Hospital General Universitario, Unidad de Alergología, Valencia, Spain.



Limited published evidence shows oral desensitization to be a potential intervention option for cow's milk protein (CMPs) allergy.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of oral desensitization in 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy, as a treatment alternative to elimination diet.


A total of 60 children aged 24-36 months with IgE-mediated allergy to CMPs were included in this multi-center study and were randomized into two groups. Thirty children (group A: treatment group) began oral desensitization immediately, whereas the remaining 30 (group B: control group) were kept on a milk-free diet and followed-up for 1 year.


After 1-year follow-up period, 90% of the children in group A had become completely tolerant vs. 23% of the children in group B. In group A, cow's milk skin reactivity and serum-specific IgE to milk and casein decreased significantly from the initial assessment, whereas group B showed no significant change after 1 year of follow-up. Twenty-four patients (80%) developed some reaction during the treatment period: 14 children developed moderate reaction (47%) and 10 mild reaction (33%). The most common manifestations were urticaria-angioedema, followed by cough.


In this study, oral desensitization was found to be effective in a significant percentage of 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy. Oral desensitization appears to be efficacious as an alternative to elimination diet in the treatment of 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy. The side-effect profile appears acceptable but requires further study.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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