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J Pediatr. 2015 Jan;166(1):97-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.07.062. Epub 2014 Sep 10.

Food allergen panel testing often results in misdiagnosis of food allergy.

Author information

1
Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Electronic address: drew.bird@utsouthwestern.edu.
2
Division of Allergy and Immunology, Children's Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Dallas, TX.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the utility of food allergy panel testing among patients referred to a pediatric food allergy center.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective chart review of all new patients seen between September 2011 and December 2012 by 1 provider in a tertiary referral pediatric food allergy center. A cost analysis was performed to calculate the estimated cost of evaluation for patients who have received a food allergy panel.

RESULTS:

Of 797 new patient encounters, 284 (35%) patients had received a food allergy panel. Only 90 (32.8%) individuals had a history warranting evaluation for food allergy; 126 individuals were avoiding a food based on recommendations from the referring provider and 112 (88.9%) were able to re-introduce at least 1 food into their diet. The positive predictive value of food allergy panel testing in this unselected population was 2.2%. The estimated cost of evaluation for this population was $79,412.

CONCLUSIONS:

Food allergy panel testing often results in misdiagnosis of food allergy, overly restrictive dietary avoidance, and an unnecessary economic burden on the health system.

PMID:
25217201
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.07.062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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