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Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Aug;42(8):1257-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.04027.x.

A multicentre retrospective study of 66 Italian children with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome: different management for different phenotypes.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Sacred Heart Agostino Gemelli Rome, Rome, Italy.



Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a non-IgE-mediated paediatric disorder triggered by the ingestion of specific food proteins. Many features of this syndrome are not yet well defined.


The aim of our study was to describe demographic features, causative agents, clinical features, treatments and outcomes of children suffering from acute FPIES at three Italian of Pediatric Allergology Centers.


A retrospective study was performed over a 7-year period (2004-2010). Hospital medical record databases and hospital outpatient electronic charts were screened for the diagnosis of FPIES. Information on the first and subsequent FPIES' episodes was collected.


We diagnosed 66 children with FPIES. The number of diagnoses significantly increased between 2008 and 2010 (P < 0.001). We collected a total of 165 FPIES episodes (median per child 2, range 1-10). Cow's milk was the most common trigger food (65%), followed by fish, egg, rice, soy, corn, poultry and goat's milk. Fifty-six (85%) children reacted to a single food. Mean documented time from ingestion to symptom onset was 2.4 h (SD 0.7 h). Vomiting was the most common symptom (98%). Among patients diagnosed with OFC, 78% reacted after eating a whole serving size of the trigger food per age. Skin prick tests (SPT) for trigger foods were negative in 97% of cases. Thirty-two/66 children (48%) achieved tolerance at a mean age of 29 months (SD 17 months). Age of achieved tolerance for cow's milk was significantly lower compared to that of other foods (24 ± 8 vs. 53 ± 17 months, P < 0.0006).


This article provides new insights on FPIES in Italy by describing its largest series, and shows how a significant increase in the FPIES diagnosis has been observed in the last few years. We also discussed selected management aspects of this syndrome where different phenotypes can be found.

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