Send to

Choose Destination
Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2005 Nov-Dec;33(6):312-6.

Food-protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome caused by fish.

Author information

Section of Pediatric Allergy, Hospital Materno Infantil Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.



Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) occurs in infants. Typical symptoms include profuse vomiting and/or diarrhea several hours after ingestion of a given food. The disorder is a non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity. The most frequently involved foods are milk and soy, but some cases of FPIES induced by solid foods have been described. We report 14 patients with FPIES due to fish protein.


History and physical examination, skin prick test (SPT) with fish allergens and Anisakis simplex, prick-by-prick test with implicated fish and determination of specific IgE antibodies against fish were performed. In eight children atopy patch test (APT) were also performed. In nine patients an open oral food challenge with the implicated fish was carried out.


There were six boys and eight girls, aged from 9 to 12 months at diagnosis, with between two and six reactions to the offending fish proteins before the diagnosis was established. Four patients had a previous history of atopy. Presenting symptoms included diarrhea in two patients, profuse vomiting in six patients, and recurrent vomiting and subsequent diarrhea in three patients. In addition to these symptoms, associated septic appearance, apathy and lethargy were present in the remaining three patients. Onset of symptoms occurred a few minutes after fish ingestion in two patients and from 60 minutes to 6 hours in the 12 remaining patients. SPT to fish were negative in all patients. Serum food-specific IgE antibodies were negative in all patients except one. APT was positive in three patients. Open oral challenge (OC) was performed in nine infants and was positive in all. The patients were followed-up for between 1 and 7 years after diagnosis, and follow-up OC tests were performed after fish had been eliminated from the patients' diet for 3-4 years. Four patients became clinically tolerant to the causal food. Three patients currently tolerate only one type of fish (swordfish).


We report 14 patients with FPIES caused by fish protein. The symptoms suggest a form of cell-mediated, non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity. The gold standard for diagnosis is OC, although caution should be exercised in infants with several reactions or a recent diagnosis. After a period of elimination of the causal food from the diet, tolerance can develop.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ediciones Doyma, S.L.
Loading ...
Support Center