Work Group report: Oral food challenge testing

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Abstract

Oral food challenges are procedures conducted by allergists/immunologists to make an accurate diagnosis of immediate, and occasionally delayed, adverse reactions to foods. The timing of the challenge is carefully chosen based on the individual patient history and the results of skin prick tests and food specific serum IgE values. The type of the challenge is determined by the history, the age of the patient, and the likelihood of encountering subjective reactions. The food challenge requires preparation of the patient for the procedure and preparation of the office for the organized conduct of the challenge, for a careful assessment of the symptoms and signs and the treatment of reactions. The starting dose, the escalation of the dosing, and the intervals between doses are determined based on experience and the patient's history. The interpretation of the results of the challenge and arragements for follow-up after a challenge are important. A negative oral food challenge result allows introduction of the food into the diet, whereas a positive oral food challenge result provides a sound basis for continued avoidance of the food.

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