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Wheat Allergy: Clinical and Laboratory Findings

Pourpak Z.a · Mansouri M.a · Mesdaghi M.a · Kazemnejad A.b · Farhoudi A.a
aImmunology, Asthma and Allergy Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and bDepartment of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2004;133:168–173 (DOI:10.1159/000076623)


Background: Food allergy affects 6–8% of infants and wheat allergy is one of the common food allergies among children. The clinical and laboratory manifestations of wheat allergy were evaluated in this study. Methods: Thirty-two children (≤12 years old) with suspected wheat allergy were evaluated for wheat allergy. The patients underwent wheat skin prick test (SPT), measurement of wheat-specific IgE and wheat challenge test. The patients with a convincing history of anaphylaxis following ingestion of wheat or with a positive challenge test, and those with a history of immediate hypersensitivity reaction following ingestion of wheat in addition to a positive wheat SPT and/or positive wheat-specific IgE were considered wheat allergic. Then, the laboratory and clinical manifestations of their disease were studied. Results: Among patients with suspected wheat allergy, 24 patients with definite wheat allergy were identified. Anaphylaxis was a dominant clinical feature, accounting for 54.1% of acute symptoms. Chronic allergy symptoms like asthma and eczema were noted in 50% of the patients. Wheat-specific IgE was higher in patients with anaphylaxis (p < 0.02) and the risk of anaphylaxis was 14.4 times more in patients with wheat-specific IgE equal to or more than 3+. Conclusions: Anaphylaxis had occurred in a remarkable number of patients repeatedly, which demonstrates the severity of the reactions, poor knowledge of the disease and probable existence of more patients with mild reactions. Regarding the higher level of wheat-specific IgE in patients with anaphylaxis, wheat-specific IgE could be used to predict the severity of symptoms.


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