Objective: To assess the outcome of oral food challenges in patients placed on elimination diets based primarily on positive serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) immunoassay results.
Study design: This is a retrospective chart review of 125 children aged 1-19 years (median age, 4 years) evaluated between January 2007 and August 2008 for IgE-mediated food allergy at National Jewish Health and who underwent an oral food challenge. Clinical history, prick skin test results, and serum allergen-specific IgE test results were obtained.
Results: The data were summarized for food avoidance and oral food challenge results. Depending on the reason for avoidance, 84%-93% of the foods being avoided were returned to the diet after an oral food challenge, indicating that the vast majority of foods that had been restricted could be tolerated at discharge.
Conclusions: In the absence of anaphylaxis, the primary reliance on serum food-specific IgE testing to determine the need for a food elimination diet is not sufficient, especially in children with atopic dermatitis. In those circumstances, oral food challenges may be indicated to confirm food allergy status.
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