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Pediatr Res. 2017 Oct;82(4):671-677. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.127. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Elimination diet and the development of multiple tree-nut allergies.

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Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.


BackgroundDespite its high prevalence, relatively little is known about the characteristics of patients with multiple tree-nut allergies.MethodsPatients (n=60, aged 4-15 years), recruited for a multiple food (tree nuts, peanut, milk, egg, soy, sesame, and wheat) oral immunotherapy (OIT) study, filled a questionnaire on their initial allergy evaluation. Medical records were reviewed. At OIT enrollment (median interval, 7.5 years), patients underwent oral food challenges (OFCs) to foods still eliminated.ResultsThere was significantly less evidence for eliminating tree nuts compared with other foods, as reflected by a lower rate of acute reaction to the offending food, either as the trigger for initial allergy evaluation (5.9% for tree-nuts vs. 20-40% for other foods, respectively P<0.001) or later in life (14.5% vs. 38-75%, respectively P=0.001), and a higher rate of negative skin prick test (SPT)/specific IgE (sIgE) at initial diagnosis (25% vs. <10%, P<0.001). SPT/sIgE increased significantly from past initial levels to present for tree nuts (P<0.001) and peanut (P=0.001) but not for other foods, and most OFCs performed at present were positive.ConclusionsTree nuts are often eliminated from the diet of multiple-food-allergic patients, despite their low probability for allergy. Sensitization and allergy to most tree nuts exist years later, suggesting that it developed during the period of elimination.

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