Oral desensitization as a useful treatment in 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy


Antonio Martorell Aragonés, Hospital General Universitario, Unidad de Alergología, Avenida Tres Cruces 2, 46014 Valencia, Spain.
E-mail: martorell_ant@gva.es


Background Limited published evidence shows oral desensitization to be a potential intervention option for cow's milk protein (CMPs) allergy.

Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of oral desensitization in 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy, as a treatment alternative to elimination diet.

Methods A total of 60 children aged 24–36 months with IgE-mediated allergy to CMPs were included in this multi-center study and were randomized into two groups. Thirty children (group A: treatment group) began oral desensitization immediately, whereas the remaining 30 (group B: control group) were kept on a milk-free diet and followed-up for 1 year.

Results After 1-year follow-up period, 90% of the children in group A had become completely tolerant vs. 23% of the children in group B. In group A, cow's milk skin reactivity and serum-specific IgE to milk and casein decreased significantly from the initial assessment, whereas group B showed no significant change after 1 year of follow-up. Twenty-four patients (80%) developed some reaction during the treatment period: 14 children developed moderate reaction (47%) and 10 mild reaction (33%). The most common manifestations were urticaria-angioedema, followed by cough.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance In this study, oral desensitization was found to be effective in a significant percentage of 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy. Oral desensitization appears to be efficacious as an alternative to elimination diet in the treatment of 2-year-old children with cow's milk allergy. The side-effect profile appears acceptable but requires further study.

Cite this as: A. Martorell, B. De la Hoz, M. D. Ibáñez, J. Bone, M. S. Terrados, A. Michavila, A. M. Plaza, E. Alonso, J. Garde, S. Nevot, L. Echeverria, C. Santana, J. C. Cerdá, C. Escudero, I. Guallar, M. Piquer, L. Zapatero, L. Ferré, T. Bracamonte, A. Muriel, M. I. Martínez and R. Félix, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2011 (41) 1297–1304.