Atopy patch test for the diagnosis of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome

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Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is thought to be a non-IgE mediated food allergy syndrome. Affected infants typically demonstrate gastrointestinal symptoms after hours after ingestion of the offending food. Traditional allergy testing is not useful for this disorder because tests for food specific IgE are routinely negative. A diagnostic oral food challenge (OFC) is the only method to confirm the diagnosis of FPIES. This prospective study was undertaken to determine whether the atopy patch test (APT) is able to predict the results of the OFC. Nineteen infants with suspected FPIES by clinical history underwent APT to the suspected foods. After APT was performed, subjects underwent OFC to determine whether FPIES was present. The results of APT and OFC were compared and used to calculate sensitivity and specificity of the APT. APT predicted the results of oral food challenges in 28/33 instances. There were 16 cases of FPIES confirmed by oral food challenges. In all 16 cases of FPIES, the APT was positive to the suspected food. However, the APT was positive in five instances where the oral food challenge was negative. All 12 patients with a negative APT had a negative oral food challenge to the suspected food. APT appears to be a promising diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of FPIES.

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