Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis with a high level of plasma noradrenaline

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Ingesting certain foods sometimes triggers anaphylaxis when followed by exercise (food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, FDEIA). Specific food-induced mucocutaneous urticaria may also progress to anaphylaxis (oral allergy syndrome, OAS). A positive skin test and/or radioallergosorbent test (RAST) to the foods suggest involvement of immunoglobulin (Ig)E-anaphylaxis in both disorders. The triggering foods and initial target organs are usually different in each case. In the present study, a 32-year-old male reported dyspnea accompanied by wheals, and symptoms of low blood pressure while walking after eating Chinese noodles and donuts. He also reported uncomfortable sensations in his mouth and throat after ingesting melon. Exercise challenge tests were administered. Serum histamine, plasma adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine were measured pre- and post-test. No symptoms were induced by exercise or by the ingestion of any single food item before exercise. However, numerous wheals appeared when exercise followed the combined ingestion of foods. Likewise, the sequence of eating pancakes and then exercising resulted in numerous wheals and anaphylaxis. Olopatadine hydrochloride and ketotifen fumarate completely inhibited this anaphylaxis. The skin prick tests resulted in fruit-induced erythema and wheals. The results of these tests with wheat, butter and sugar were negative, and no symptoms were induced by the exercise test after ingestion of watermelon, melon or apple. The anaphylactoid symptoms were accompanied by a significant increase of plasma noradrenaline. In this case, not only wheat, but sugar and butter may induce the onset of FDEIA. There was no significant correlation between the intensity of the symptoms and the serum histamine levels in the present case. Noradrenaline may be involved in the onset of FDEIA, since noradrenaline may selectively inhibit T-helper (Th)1 functions while favoring Th2 responses. The tests showed no cross-reactivity between the causative foods of OAS and FDEIA, indicating that the mechanisms of onset are different between them.

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