Skin prick test predictive value on the outcome of a first known egg exposure in milk-allergic children

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Children with milk allergy have higher incidence of other food allergies, especially egg allergy. The objective of this study was to ascertain the accuracy of the prick test in children with IgE-mediated milk allergy for diagnosing egg allergy. Children under the age of 1 yr who came consecutively to Allergy Department 2003–05, and were diagnosed with IgE-mediated milk allergy were selected for this study. Egg introduction was completely avoided until the age of 14 months when clinical history, skin prick tests (SPT), specific-IgE antibodies determination and egg challenge test were performed. One hundred and four milk-allergic children were included. At least one positive prick test to any egg allergen was found in 65 out of the 104 (62.5%). Thirty-eight (36.5%) were allergic to egg proteins as well. Prick tests with egg white and ovomucoid (OVM) had the best diagnostic performances showing the largest areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve. The optimal diagnosis cut-off point was 6 mm for egg white and 5 mm for OVM. The positive likelihood ratios for these cut-off points were: 2.95 (95% CI: 1.74–4.99) for egg white prick test, and 20 (95% CI: 2.9–143.7) for OVM prick test. Children with specific IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy must be closely followed as a risk group for egg allergy. Early diagnosis is necessary and the SPT has shown itself to be a very useful tool for diagnosing immediate IgE reactions to egg on first known exposure.

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