Many false diagnoses in cow's milk allergy

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Misdiagnosis of cow's milk allergy is relatively common, according to a study

Every 100th child in the 1st year of life most often suffers from it. However, many children with an alleged allergy to cow's milk are also misdiagnosed. Scientists from Israel have analyzed the most common mistakes. The team of doctors from Israel wanted to know whether certain characteristics are associated with such misdiagnoses particularly often.

They evaluated a cohort of 13,234 newborns. The diagnosis of "cow's milk allergy" was wrongly made in 243 children. (Arch Dis Child 2013; Online March 26).

Most of the children with "real" IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy only became ill in the third to fourth month of life. In contrast, the majority of children with "wrong" cow's milk allergy had symptoms in the first three months of life - many even in the first two months.

IgE-mediated food allergies usually manifest in multiple organs such as the skin, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract. The misdiagnosed children, on the other hand, predominantly only had symptoms in one organ system.
The researchers call for a thorough examination for every child suspected of allergy to cow's milk. They advocate making the diagnosis of cow's milk allergy dependent on an oral provocation test - except after an anaphylactic reaction. (pm)

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