Natural history of food hypersensitivity in children with atopic dermatitis

J Pediatr. 1989 Jul;115(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(89)80323-3.


Patients with atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity who were adhering to an elimination diet underwent repeat double-blind, placebo-controlled oral food challenges annually for follow-up of their food allergy. After 1 year, 19 of 75 patients lost all signs of clinical food hypersensitivity (15 of 45 patients allergic to one food, and 4 of 21 allergic to two foods). Of the individual foods, 38 of 121 no longer elicited symptomatic responses. After 2 years, patients underwent a second rechallenge; 4 of 44 patients tested lost their clinical food hypersensitivity. In 20 patients undergoing a third rechallenge, no food hypersensitivity was lost. Loss rate of food hypersensitivity varied among foods; after 1 year, there was a 26% loss of symptomatic food allergy to five major allergens (egg, milk, soy, wheat, and peanut) compared with a 66% loss rate to other food allergens. Loss of symptomatic allergy was not affected by the patient's age at diagnosis, except with milk allergy, for which older patients were more likely to lose clinical food hypersensitivity (p less than 0.05). Total serum IgE and prick skin tests were not useful for predicting loss of symptomatic food hypersensitivity. There was no significant decrease in skin test wheal size corresponding to loss of clinical food hypersensitivity. Patients developing only skin symptoms during the initial challenge were most likely to lose symptomatic food hypersensitivity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diet therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Skin Tests


  • Immunoglobulin E