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Allergy in a ‘nutshell’ GP guide to survival

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Presentation on theme: "Allergy in a ‘nutshell’ GP guide to survival"— Presentation transcript:

1 Allergy in a ‘nutshell’ GP guide to survival
Dr Gillian Vance

2 Starts with early diagnosis
Allergy care Starts with early diagnosis

3 Session Better understanding of the basic immunological mechanisms underlying food allergic disease Apply mechanisms to clinical evaluation & appropriate therapy

4 Objectives Recognise typical features of allergic disease
Appreciate areas of complexity Explain what, how & why we evaluate at the allergy clinic

5 ‘Allergy’ 1st coined in 1906 by Austrian paediatrician, Clemens von Pirquet ‘altered reactivity’ to any antigenic stimulation, whether Immunity – protection Hypersensitivity – adverse clinical response

6 ‘Allergy’ ‘An exaggerated sensitivity to a substance (allergen) that is inhaled, swallowed or injected, or that comes into contact with the skin or eyes’

7 Allergic disease spectrum
Food allergy Eczema Asthma Allergic rhinitis Drug allergy

8 Allergy – a public health problem
Prevalence of asthma & hayfever have increased over the last 20 years ( % and % respectively) Upton, BMJ 2000 12 million people per year may seek treatment for allergy Children: 20.4% asthma; 18.2% hayfever; 47% 1 or more current symptoms (ISAAC study, 1999)

9 Epidemiology of Food Allergy
Peanut allergy (3 yr olds) Sensitisation: threefold increase from % Doubling of reactivity from 0.5-1% JACI 2001;107:S231 Admission rates Anaphylaxis risen 7-fold; 5/million 1990/ /4 Food allergy risen 7-fold; /million Urticaria doubled; 20 – 44/million – especially children Figures more impressive for food allergy. Rpt birth cohort survey of 3-4 year olds on IOW: Impact of FA on healthcare usage:

10 Allergy – a primary care problem
6% of GP consultations Primary Care Prescribing : community prescriptions increased Nasal allergy - by 60% (to 4.5 million) Anaphylaxis – 12 fold (to 124,000) Ocular allergy – by 50% (to 1.4 million) Costs NHS £900 million pa Excludes costs of A&E attendances, outpatient consultations, hospital treatment BSACI, London, commissioned study, 2002

11 Why should children with suspected allergy be tested?
May be lifelong Specific treatment Early treatment may influence severity May be life threatening Associated with poor quality of life May herald other allergic diseases ‘Allergic March’

12 Eczema Asthma

13 Adverse Reactions to Food
Adverse Reaction to Food Toxic Food poisoning Non toxic Aversion Non-immune mediated Enzymatic Pharmacological Undefined Immune mediated Allergy IgE Non IgE

14 Non-immune ARF ‘Undefined’ Mechanism unknown
Food additives, preservatives, colourings ‘Generally Recognised as Safe products [GRAS] Sulphites, nitrites, nitrates, MSG Urticaria, rhinitis, asthma, migraine

15 Food Allergy - Definition
An immune-mediated adverse reaction to food that occurs in genetically predisposed individuals IgE urticaria; oral allergy; anaphylaxis Non IgE Cell-mediated; mixed Consistent Reproducible

16 How does the immune system malfunction in food allergies
How does the immune system malfunction in food allergies? Step 1: Sensitisation IgE production B cell Th2-biased cytokine production Th cell Allergen Exposure Processing Presentation

17 Step 2: Activation - Effector Phase
Vasodilatation Pain Cell recruitment Mucosal oedema Immune Modulation IgE induction Tissue remodelling Smooth muscle contraction Peristalsis

18 Clinical Manifestations: Immediate
Erythema Pruritus (generalised) Urticaria Angioedema Rhinitis Laryngeal oedema Asthma GI upset

19 Symptoms Immediate Delayed type / Chronic Inflammation Abdominal pain
Altered gut function Poor asthma control

20 Clinical Manifestations: non IgE-mediated reactions
Delayed type SKIN: eczema flares GUT: Mucousy / bloody stools in an infant Chronic diarrhoea, vomiting Failure to thrive Malabsorption Dysphagia, abdominal pain Proctitis / dietary protein enteropathy / eosinophilic gastroenteropathies

21 What foods? Cow’s milk, Egg white, Soybean, Wheat, Peanut, Tree nuts, Fish & Shellfish account for >90% reactions

22 Red flag features of allergy
Clear temporal relationship with trigger Consistency of reaction Trigger – likely allergen Timing – within 2 hours of ingestion ‘Typical’ clinical symptoms Other features of atopy Family history of atopy

23 Example 1 3½ year old girl Eczema since 1 year age
Ate 1 salted peanut 18 months ago Developed lip swelling & wheeze No rash, GI upset or respiratory distress Mum – asthma & hayfever

24 Example 2 11 year old girl No other atopic disease
Xmas - ate raisin from bowl of mixed nuts Developed lip swelling & local urticaria 5 – 10 minutes later Settled with oral piriton Father – eczema & occasional ‘wheeze’

25 What’s the diagnosis? Peanut allergy Tree-nut allergy ‘Other’

26 Diagnostic Adjuncts Skin Prick Testing Specific IgE measurement Cheap
Painless Fast Sensitive & specific Specific IgE measurement Blood test Hx of anaphylaxis Recent antihistamine use Widespread eczematous skin


28 Skin prick test

29 Results - cases Case 1: Case 2: SPT peanut 6 mm
SPT tree nut panel negative Specific IgE peanut 5.6 kU/L Case 2: SPT brazil nut 4 mm; remainder negative Specific IgE peanut 90 kU/L; brazil 2.4 kU/L

30 Interpretation Case 1: peanut allergic
Case 2: peanut & tree-nut allergic SPT weal size or Specific IgE level No relation with severity of reaction

31 Red flag features of management
Awareness Avoidance Asthma control Anti-histamine Adrenaline autoinjector

32 Management AWARENESS Parents Wider family School Physician


34 Management AVOIDANCE

35 Management ASTHMA CONTROL

36 Management ANTI-HISTAMINE


38 Who should get an epipen?

Lethal anaphylaxis Uncommon 0.65-2% of severe anaphylaxis ‘KISS OF DEATH FOR NUT ALLERGY GIRL’ A teenage girl with an extreme allergy has died after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten a peanut-butter sandwich hours earlier. Christina Desforges, 15, from Saguenay, Canada, went into anaphylactic shock. She was given an adrenalin shot and taken to hospital but died four days later from acute respiratory failure. Doctors said that a nut allergy brought on by the kiss was the cause of death. The boy, who has not been named, had minute traces of peanut on his lips. Nov ‘05

40 Lethal anaphylaxis: ‘predictable’ risk factors
Peanut / treenuts Asthma Adolescents / young adults

41 Lethal anaphylaxis: ‘unpredictable’ risk factors
Severity history of previous food reaction Pumphrey 22% of fatal cases had had previous severe reaction

42 Severity History Macdougall et al, 2002, Arch Dis Child

43 Red flag features of epipen prescription
Indicated: History of severe reaction Reactions becoming more severe Asthma (requiring inhaled steroid use) Consider: If low dose (trace) exposure At a distance from nearest medical facility If having difficulty avoiding If parents anxious +

44 Prognosis

45 IgE mediated reactions
Resolve: Cow’s milk, Egg, Soya, Wheat By 5 years age, tolerance in 85% of CMA children 66% of egg allergic children Persist: Peanut, Tree nut, Fish & Shellfish However, around 20% of PA will resolve Youngest patients Low specific IgE Mild reaction at presentation

46 Frequently Asked Questions

47 Is a food allergy causing my child’s hyperactivity?
Number of ways in which food could affect cognition & behaviour in children Mechanism not ‘allergy’ Some benefit in ‘extreme’ subgroups Complex behavioural problems +/- neurological deficits Possibility that food additives may have a pervasive effect across the population

48 ‘Food Allergy’ & behaviour
Bateman study 277 children Hyperactivity / atopy Randomised, placebo-control, Double blind, cross-over: food colouring & Na benzoate Assessed weekly by psychologists; parents daily Parental ratings associated with dietary additives No association with atopy

49 ‘Food Allergy’ & behaviour
Confirmed in follow on study 3-year old children (n=153) 8/9 year old children (n=144) Within subject crossover – 2 active mixes; 1 placebo (3 year olds x2 56g sweets; 8 yr olds 2-4 bags sweets / day Global Hyperactivity Aggregate increased in both age groups with active mix

50 My child has egg allergy – should he have the MMR?
YES Unless Immunocompromised Had an anaphylactic reaction to previous MMR Had an anaphylactic reaction to gelatin / neomycin Close observation if Previous acute severe reaction to egg Current active, chronic asthma

51 (Other) Indications for referral
GI symptoms: vomiting, diarrhoea, colic, FTT Atopic dermatitis: severe, persistent, young child, allergen-related Chronic urticaria: duration > 6 weeks Wheezers / asthmatics Rhinitis / conjunctivitis Severe, persistent, treatment-resistant, allergen-related Insect allergy (not local reaction – even if large)

52 What have we learned? Allergy has a wide range of manifestations
Diagnosis relies on careful history taking, & appropriate interpretation of IgE testing. Management represents a ‘package’ of education, specific allergen avoidance measures, relevant pharmacotherapy & possibly desensitisation (inhalants) ‘Early’ evaluation can make a difference to both the child & family life

53 Thank you for listening
Feel free to discuss / refer your patients to the allergy team.

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