Food protein–induced enterocolitis syndrome in Australia: A population-based study, 2012-2014

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Abstract

Background

Food protein–induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is a non–IgE-mediated gastrointestinal allergic disorder. Large population-based FPIES studies are lacking.

Objective

We sought to determine the incidence and clinical characteristics of FPIES in Australian infants.

Methods

An Australia-wide survey (2012-2014) was undertaken through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, with monthly notification of new cases of acute FPIES in infants aged less than 24 months by 1400 participating pediatricians.

Results

Two hundred thirty infants with FPIES were identified. The incidence of FPIES in Australian infants (<24 months) was 15.4/100,000/y. Median age of first episode, diagnosis, and notification were 5, 7, and 10 months, respectively. There was no sex predilection. Seven percent of infants had siblings with a history of FPIES, and 5% reacted during exclusive breast-feeding. Sixty-eight had a single food trigger (20% had 2 and 12% had ≥3 food triggers). The most common FPIES triggers were rice (45%), cow's milk (33%), and egg (12%). Fifty-one percent of infants reacted on their first known exposure. Infants with FPIES to multiple versus single food groups were younger at the initial episode (4.6 vs 5.8 months [mean], P = .001) and more frequently had FPIES to fruits, vegetables, or both (66% vs 21%, P < .0001). Infants exclusively breast-fed for more than 4 months had a trend toward lower rates of FPIES to multiple food groups (23% vs 36%, P = .06). Sixty-four percent of infants with FPIES to multiple foods, which included cow's milk, had coassociated FPIES to solid foods. Forty-two percent of infants with FPIES to fish reacted to other food groups.

Conclusions

FPIES is not rare, with an estimated incidence of 15.4/100,000/y. Rice is the most common food trigger in Australia. Factors associated with FPIES to multiple foods included early-onset disease and FPIES to fruits, vegetables, or both.

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