Background Even hydrolysed cow's milk formulae may retain residual allergens and there are few nutritional options for children with cow's milk allergy (CMA) who also react to soy.
Objective To assess clinical tolerance to a rice-based hydrolysate in children with such a clinical presentation.
Patients and methods Eighteen children (six girls and 12 boys; median age 5 years; range 1–9 years) with CMA, who developed clinical reactions to a soy-based formula after 2–18 months' treatment, were recruited between January 1998 and June 1999. Clinical evaluation was by skin prick test (SPT) with cow's milk, casein, lactalbumin, soy and rice allergen extracts, fresh cow's milk, soy and hydrolysated rice formula (HRF). Serology was investigated by CAP system technology and immunoblotting. Assessment of the rice formula was carried out by double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge with rice hydrolysate.
Results Thirteen children had positive SPT to casein, 10 to lactalbumin, eight to rice and two to rice hydrolysate. Positive serology was found in all patients' sera tested with cow's milk, with soy in 13 sera and with rice in seven. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled challenge with an HRF was negative in all cases.
Conclusions Children allergic to cow's milk and soy tolerate an HRF clinically. This suggests that rice hydrolysate may be used as a protein source for children with multiple food-induced reactions.