Background: Food allergy is not always correctly diagnosed in children with atopic eczema dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) and treatment with an avoidance diet is not without danger.
Methods: After admission to our clinic, 11 children with a prolonged cow's milk (CM) elimination diet because of AEDS and sensitization underwent double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC). Retrospectively, the exposure to CM, sensitization and reactions to accidental ingestion were carefully documented. The DBPCFC was used to evaluate the childrens’ current status.
Results: Before the elimination period (median 2.3 years; started before the admission) all 11 children with AEDS were sensitized and had ingested CM (four bottle-fed; seven breast-fed without CM diet of the mother) without the development of acute reactions. The diagnosis of CM allergy was not confirmed by DBPCFC previously. After elimination the AEDS had not improved, but nevertheless the diet was continued. During the elimination period, eight of 11 children developed severe acute allergic reactions to CM after accidental ingestion. In evaluation, in our clinic all 11 children experienced acute allergic reactions to CM during DBPCFC.
Conclusion: There is a considerable chance of developing acute allergic reactions to CM after elimination in children with AEDS without previous problems after CM intake.