Show Summary Details
Page of

Establishing and investigating the relationship between food allergy and asthma 

Establishing and investigating the relationship between food allergy and asthma
Establishing and investigating the relationship between food allergy and asthma

Graham Roberts

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 March 2021

Clinical and laboratory observations were made with 38 children afflicted with chronic severe asthma (reversible obstructive airway disease) in which hypersensitivity to food was incriminated in the histories. Symptoms were evoked in double-blind food challenges in only 11/38 children and 14/70 challenges, and were characteristic of immediate-type hypersensitivity and were chiefly gastrointestinal, even though asthma was the common presenting complaint. There were no delayed reactions. Peanut was responsible for 8 reactions, egg for 5, and cow’s milk for 1. The feature that most successfully identified those having positive reactions in challenges was a significant wheal reaction in a skin test by puncture technique using a verified extract of 1:20 W/V concentration. No subject with clinically significant, symptomatic hypersensitivity to food had a negative puncture test, and puncture tests were positive in only 10/56 instances of negative reactions in food challenges. Laboratory observations included release of histamine and enzymes from leukocytes and the levels of neutrophil enzymes in serum before and after food provocation tests. While these determinations were of interest with respect to the immunochemical basis of reactions to foods, they did not prove useful for practical clinical diagnosis. The outstanding laboratory finding was the occurrence of “spontaneous” release of 25% to 100% of the histamine from leukocytes in all cases proved clinically hypersensitive by food challenges, which suggests that this may be an indicator of immediate-type hypersensitivity to food. From the findings in the study, a general approach to food hypersensitivity was developed in which the immunologic components coupled with quantitative concentration-response relationships serve to render comprehensible the distinction between asymptomatic (immunologic) hypersensitivity and symptomatic (clinical) hypersensitivity.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.