Background Current management of egg allergy relies on egg elimination from the diet. It does not protect patients from reactions after accidental ingestion of the food and it has a negative influence on quality of life. To solve these problems, some desensitization protocols have been described that are safe and effective, but only one study of a rush regimen for egg with a small patient sample has been published.
Objective To evaluate the safety, efficacy and immunologic effects of an oral rush desensitization protocol for immediate egg allergy.
Methods Subjects aged 5 years or older with symptomatic IgE-mediated allergy to hen's egg underwent a 5-day oral tolerance induction regimen and were subsequently maintained on a regular egg intake. The variables studied were the reactions that occurred during the induction regimen and follow-up and the duration of desensitization. Prick test weal size and egg white-specific IgE and IgG concentrations were monitored.
Results Twenty-three patients between 5 and 17 years of age entered the protocol. Twenty (86.9%) achieved the daily intake of a whole cooked egg, 14 of them within the scheduled 5 days. One abandoned the protocol and two were changed to a slower regimen because of repeated reactions. Allergic reactions were frequent but in general were mild. No severe reactions occurred. During follow-up of at least 6 months, egg was well tolerated by all patients. Compared with baseline, skin prick test weal size and egg white-sIgE levels had fallen at 3 months, although the differences were only significant at 6 months.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance The rush protocol described is useful and safe for achieving tolerance to egg within a few days but it should always be performed in a highly supervised setting. A high proportion of patients allergic to egg can effectively be desensitized using the described schedule, with the advantage of shortening the time to become protected from reactions after inadvertent ingestion of egg, with no increase in the risk compared with the earlier reported slower protocols.
Cite this as: R. García Rodríguez, J. M. Urra, F. Feo-Brito, P. A. Galindo, J. Borja, E, Gómez, P. Lara and F. Guerra, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2011 (41) 1289–1296.
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