Diagnostic tests in children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy

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Abstract

Background

Skin testing is a common diagnostic procedure in food allergy. The skin prick test is the test of first choice for investigating the immediate IgE-mediated reaction. The skin application food test (SAFT) has been developed on the basis of the mechanism of the contact urticaria syndrome (CUS).

Methods

We studied the relevance of the SAFT in children younger than 4 years with atopic dermatitis and (suspected) food allergy as compared with the prick-prick test, the radioallergosorbent test (RAST), and the oral challenge. In the skin tests, we used fresh food, in the same state as it was consumed.

Results

There was a good agreement between the SAFT and the prick-prick test. A moderate agreement was observed between the SAFT and the serologic test (RAST). Significantly more positive results in the RAST were observed than in the SAFT. There was very good agreement between the SAFT and the oral challenge (κ = 0.86).

Conclusions

The SAFT is a reliable and child-friendly skin test for evaluating (suspected) food allergy in children younger than 4 years with atopic dermatitis. The very good correlation with the oral challenge indicates that one may probably consider the SAFT a "skin provocation" in children younger than 4 years.

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