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Acta Paediatr. 2004 Jun;93(6):759-64.

Monitoring of IgE-mediated food allergy in childhood.

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Division of Infection, Inflammation and Repair, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.



The prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy (FA) in childhood varies from 6% to 8% in the first year of life compared to 1% to 2% in adults. In contrast to adults, FA in childhood, often part of the "allergic march", resolves in more than 85% of children, especially those with hypersensitivity to cow's milk and egg.


This paper explains the rationale for continuing care for childhood FA and describes how children should be monitored for resolution/persistence of FA.


A clinical, multidisciplinary approach and management algorithm based on relevant, peer-reviewed original research articles and reviews using the keywords anaphylaxis, atopic eczema, children, milk allergy, double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge, egg allergy, epinephrine, failure to thrive, food allergy, food challenge, food hypersensitivity, immunoglobulin E, nutrition, natural history, paediatrics, peanut allergy, prevalence, psychosocial factors, quality of life, radioallergosorbent test, and tolerance from years 1966 to 2003 in MEDLINE. Additional studies were identified from article reference lists.


A combination of outcome measures, a multidisciplinary approach involving a dietitian and allergy nurse specialist, and a management algorithm are useful tools in clinical management.


Prospective studies of non-selected children, optimally from birth cohorts, are needed to evaluate the effects of such management programmes regarding FA in childhood.

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