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Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) linked to other allergies: but not the whole story

November 20, 2019

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, also known as FPIES, is a form of food allergy where patients experience delayed-onset repetitive vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy after eating a trigger food. It is increasingly clear that other allergic conditions, including atopic dermatitis, traditional food allergy, and asthma are diagnosed more frequently in patients with FPIES. However, the details of how these conditions are linked to one-another are not well understood.

In a research article that was recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Ruffner and colleagues analyzed data from a pediatric birth cohort of 158,510 children, of which 214 had FPIES. The investigators compared the rate of allergic comorbidities in FPIES patients to those without FPIES. They also performed longitudinal modeling to determine if there were differences in the timing of when FPIES patients developed atopic disorders as compared to patients without FPIES.

The authors found that FPIES patients have a significantly increased chance of being diagnosed with other allergic conditions. However, longitudinal analyses accounting for patient characteristics and the timing of FPIES onset demonstrate that although the allergic burden is higher in FPIES patients, a preexisting diagnosis of FPIES does not increase the rate of developing these other allergic disorders. This suggests that FPIES is not a direct cause of these other allergies. However, it is important for clinicians to remain mindful that patients with FPIES have been shown to have a higher frequency of allergic manifestations and provide appropriate screening and care as needed.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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