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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012 May;108(5):326-331.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.11.010. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

The natural history of persistent peanut allergy.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Peanut allergy affects 1% of children, and for those with persistent disease, few data have been published on trends in peanut-specific immunoglobulin E (P-IgE) levels or the value of P-IgE in predicting reaction severity.

OBJECTIVE:

The primary outcome was the frequency of inadvertent peanut exposure. Secondary outcomes included clinical characteristics, trends in P-IgE, characteristics of accidental exposures, and predictors of reaction severity in patients with persistent peanut allergy.

METHODS:

Records of patients with persistent peanut allergy were reviewed. Other allergic conditions, P-IgE levels, and peanut exposures were documented.

RESULTS:

Seven hundred eighty-two patients were studied, 524 of them male. The median age at initial observation was 1.4 years; the median duration of follow-up was 5.3 years. Of the 782 patients, 93.1% were avoiding other foods, 70.8% had atopic dermatitis, 57.3% allergic rhinitis, and 55.8% asthma. The median initial P-IgE was 28.0 kU/L, and the median peak P-IgE was 68.1. Six hundred eighty-five exposures were seen among 455 patients: 75.9% ingestion, 13.6% contact, 4.5% airborne. 73.7% resulted in urticaria/angioedema, 22.2% lower respiratory symptoms, 21.2% gastrointestinal symptoms, and 7.7% oral erythema/pruritus. Treatment included antihistamines (33.4%), emergency department visits (16.5%), epinephrine (13.1%), corticosteroids (7.7%), albuterol (3.2%), no treatment (26.3%), and not recorded (29.6%). The rate of postdiagnosis ingestion was 4.7%/year; exposures with severe reactions, 1.6%/year; reactions treated with epinephrine, 1.1%/year. Reaction severity did not change with repeated exposure. Severe reactions were associated with higher P-IgE, but not with age, sex, or asthma.

CONCLUSION:

In this referral population, the rates of accidental peanut exposures and severe reactions were low. There was a strong association between higher P-IgE levels and reaction severity.

Copyright © 2012 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Comment in

  • Food allergy: diagnosis and beyond. [Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012]
PMID:
22541403
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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