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Food-induced anaphylaxis

Järvinen, Kirsi M

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology:
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e32834694d8
Food allergy: Edited by Alessandro Fiocchi and Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn
Abstract

Purpose of review: Food-induced anaphylaxis is the leading single cause of anaphylaxis treated in emergency departments and increasing in prevalence.

Recent findings: Food allergy is an increasing problem in westernized countries around the world, with a cumulative prevalence of 3–6%. Peanut, tree nuts, and shellfish are the most commonly implicated foods in anaphylaxis, although milk is a common trigger in children. Asthmatics, adolescents, and those with a prior reaction are at increased risk for more severe reactions. Most first reactions and reactions in children most commonly occur at home, whereas most subsequent reactions and reactions in adults occur outside home. Studies on schools have identified inadequate management plans and symptom recognition whereas those on restaurants report lack of prior notification by allergic individuals and lack in staff education. Epinephrine, although underutilized is the drug of choice with multiple doses needed in up to one-fifth of reactions. Diagnosis is currently based on convincing history and allergy testing supported by elevated serum tryptase, if available. Long-term management includes strict avoidance and emergency action plan.

Summary: With a growing population of food-allergic children and adults, markers to predict which individuals are at increased risk for anaphylaxis as well as new therapies are vigorously sought.

Author Information

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Kirsi M. Järvinen, MD, PhD, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1198, New York, NY 10029, USA Tel: +1 212 241 8471; fax: +1 212 426 1902; e-mail: Kirsi.jarvinen-seppo@ssm.edu

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.