Food anaphylaxis: inventory in a Belgian pneumo-allergology consultation

Aurore De Vriendt1, Françoise Pirson1,2,3,4 Published in the journal : May 2022 Category : Pneumology

Summary :

Food allergy is a common condition, and anaphylaxis, which is its most severe presentation, potentially fatal. This retrospective study has described the characteristics of patients presenting with food anaphylaxis (Grade >2), who were evaluated at the Allergology Unit of Saint-Luc University Clinics, between 2017 and 2019.

The studied population comprised mainly adults, their mean age being 33.7 years. Anaphylaxis were mainly caused by mandatory allergens. The allergological work-up was chiefly based on a detailed clinical history and demonstration (in vivo or in vitro) of sensibilization, in addition to an oral food challenge in several cases. The most common culprit foods were shellfish and peanuts, both accounting for 38.7% of cases. Intramuscular epinephrine was injected in less than half of anaphylaxis cases. Acute management of food anaphylaxis is thus still inappropriate in regards to international guidelines.

What is already known about the topic?

Food allergy (FA) is a common condition and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. FA is responsible for considerable morbidity, impaired quality of life, and significant costs, as well. Recommendations for immediate management have been in place since several years. FA long-term management is based on eviction diet and patient’s education enabling them to manage a possible future reaction.

What does this article bring up for us?

This article has identified food anaphylaxis cases that were followed-up by means of an allergological work-up at the Saint-Luc University Clinics. This study has generated local epidemiological data, whereas it has also highlighted the inadequacy of the immediate management of food anaphylaxis cases in regards to current guidelines, which was already noted in 2012. On note is that this article has also provided suggestions for improvement.

Key Words

Anaphylaxis, food allergy, diagnostic, treatment