Background: Proven IgE or T-cell mediated drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs) seem less common in children compared with adults. However, this has never been proved by data.
Objective: To determine and compare proven DHR prevalence in children and adults.
Methods: Using the DAHD (Drug Allergy and Hypersensitivity Database) cohort, children with proven DHRs were compared with adults. The international EAACI-ENDA recommendations were followed. Patients were divided into four groups: index reaction and test during childhood (C/C), index reaction at childhood and test at adulthood (C/A), index reactions at childhood and adulthood and test at adulthood (CA/A), index reaction and test at adulthood (A/A).
Results: A total of 3275 patients (67.9% female), comprising a total of 4370 patient-episodes, were evaluated (74.5% belonged to the A/A group). Prevalence of positive tests was 15.2% (95%CI, 14.1-16.2) for all tested classes, 10.6% (8.3-13.0) for C/C, 10.6% (7.5-13.6) for C/A, 22.1% (12.8-31.3) for CA/A and 16.5% (15.2-17.8) for A/A. The prevalence was lower in group C/C compared with groups A/A (P < 0.0001) and CA/A (P = 0.003). It was also lower in group C/A compared with the two latter groups (respectively P = 0.003 and P = 0.005). Significant differences were found for maculopapular exanthemas only, and not for urticaria/angiœdema and anaphylaxis. The difference was mainly observed with β-lactams and not for NSAIDs.
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Suspicions of DHRs are less likely to be confirmed in children.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.