Could Age and Oral Challenge Outcomes Identify High-Risk Patients During Cow's Milk Oral Immunotherapy?

Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2022 Jun;35(2):95-101. doi: 10.1089/ped.2022.0003. Epub 2022 Jun 8.


Objective: Severe immunglobuline E (IgE)-mediated reactions during oral immunotherapy (OIT) are major obstacles to treatment. The present study aimed to evaluate and identify clinical and laboratory biomarkers of adverse events during OIT among children with cow's milk (CM) allergy. Study Design: Eighty-six children older than 36 months who had undergone OIT with milk were enrolled. Clinical data, oral food challenge (OFC) test results, and laboratory data were recorded retrospectively. Results: The median duration of the build-up phase of OIT was 19 weeks (min 10-max 40) and the duration of the maintenance phase was 86.5 (min 1-max 132) months. A total of 11,767 CM doses were administered during the build-up phase and adverse reactions were seen in 62 (73.8%) patients with reactions registered for 157 doses among 11,767 (1/75 doses). The number of reactions during the maintenance phase was 41 (47.6%) in 24 (27.9%) patients. There was a significant reduction in the number of reactions (P = 0.000) between the build-up phase and maintenance phase. Adverse reactions and anaphylaxis were higher for patients who had cough during OFC (P = 0.003, P = 0.002, respectively) during the build-up phase and also during the maintenance phase too (P = 0.000). Evaluation for all reactions and anaphylaxis (during build-up and maintenance) with Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis showed class IV-VI of CM-specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE), casein-sIgE and cough during OFC were significantly associated with increased probability of reaction and anaphylaxis. Younger age at onset of OIT was associated with risk reduction (0.017). Conclusion: Laboratory data and reactions during the OFC (especially cough) can help to identify high-risk patients during OIT.

Keywords: adverse reaction; anaphylaxis; children; cow's milk allergy; oral immunotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Anaphylaxis* / etiology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cough
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Milk / adverse effects
  • Milk Hypersensitivity* / etiology
  • Milk Hypersensitivity* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Allergens
  • Immunologic Factors