The natural history of persistent peanut allergy

Dara L. Neuman-Sunshine, John A. Eckman, Corinne A. Keet, Elizabeth C. Matsui, Roger D. Peng, Patrick J. Lenehan, Robert A. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Peanut allergy affects 1% of children, and for those with persistent disease, few data have been published on trends in peanut-specific immunoglobulin E (P-IgE) levels or the value of P-IgE in predicting reaction severity. Objective: The primary outcome was the frequency of inadvertent peanut exposure. Secondary outcomes included clinical characteristics, trends in P-IgE, characteristics of accidental exposures, and predictors of reaction severity in patients with persistent peanut allergy. Methods: Records of patients with persistent peanut allergy were reviewed. Other allergic conditions, P-IgE levels, and peanut exposures were documented. Results: Seven hundred eighty-two patients were studied, 524 of them male. The median age at initial observation was 1.4 years; the median duration of follow-up was 5.3 years. Of the 782 patients, 93.1% were avoiding other foods, 70.8% had atopic dermatitis, 57.3% allergic rhinitis, and 55.8% asthma. The median initial P-IgE was 28.0 kU/L, and the median peak P-IgE was 68.1. Six hundred eighty-five exposures were seen among 455 patients: 75.9% ingestion, 13.6% contact, 4.5% airborne. 73.7% resulted in urticaria/angioedema, 22.2% lower respiratory symptoms, 21.2% gastrointestinal symptoms, and 7.7% oral erythema/pruritus. Treatment included antihistamines (33.4%), emergency department visits (16.5%), epinephrine (13.1%), corticosteroids (7.7%), albuterol (3.2%), no treatment (26.3%), and not recorded (29.6%). The rate of postdiagnosis ingestion was 4.7%/year; exposures with severe reactions, 1.6%/year; reactions treated with epinephrine, 1.1%/year. Reaction severity did not change with repeated exposure. Severe reactions were associated with higher P-IgE, but not with age, sex, or asthma. Conclusion: In this referral population, the rates of accidental peanut exposures and severe reactions were low. There was a strong association between higher P-IgE levels and reaction severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-331.e3
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Volume108
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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