Patterns of suspected wheat-related allergy: a retrospective single-centre case note review in 156 patients

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Allergy to wheat can present clinically in different forms: Sensitization to ingested wheat via the gastrointestinal tract can cause traditional food allergy or in combination with exercise, Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis (WDEIA). Sensitization to inhaled wheat flour may lead to occupational rhinitis and/or asthma.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the case notes of 156 patients (age 0.7 - 73.3 years) with a case history of wheat allergy. The population was divided into three groups, 1: Wheat allergy elicited by ingestion, 2: By inhalation and 3: WDEIA. All patients were examined with detailed case history, specific IgE (sIgE), Skin Prick Test (SPT) and wheat challenge (nasal or oral ± exercise). Details of the case history were extracted from the patients´ case records.

RESULTS: Group 1: Twenty one of 95 patients were challenge positive (15 children, 6 adults). All children had atopic dermatitis, and most (13/15) outgrew their wheat allergy. Most children (13/15) had other food allergies. Challenge positive patients showed significantly higher levels of sIgE to wheat and significantly more were SPT positive than challenge negative. Group 2: Eleven out of 13 adults with occupational asthma or rhinitis were challenge positive. None outgrew their allergy. Seven had positive sIgE and 10 had positive SPT to wheat. Group 3: Ten of 48 (adolescent/adults) were positive when challenged during exercise. Challenge positive patients showed significantly higher levels of sIgE to ω-5-gliadin. The natural course is presently unknown.

CONCLUSION: Wheat allergy can manifest in different disease entities, rendering a detailed case history and challenge mandatory. Patient age, occupation, concomitant allergies (food or inhalant) and atopic dermatitis are important factors for evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalClinical and Translational Allergy
Volume4
Issue number1
Number of pages9
ISSN2045-7022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21. Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Age dependency
  • Natural course of wheat allergy
  • Wheat allergy
  • Wheat challenge
  • ω-5 gliadin

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