Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2019 Jul;11(4):498-507. 10.4168/aair.2019.11.4.498.

Reduction Rate of Specific IgE Level as a Predictor of Persistent Egg Allergy in Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Severance Hospital, Institute of Allergy, Institute for Immunology and Immunological Diseases, Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Egg is the most common food allergen in infants. However, the natural course of egg allergy has not been fully elucidated. This study aimed to describe clinical characteristics and to identify prognostic factors associated with tolerance acquisition of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated egg allergy in children.
Children who underwent more than 1 follow-up egg white-specific immunoglobulin E (EWsIgE) test between November 2005 and November 2015 at -Severance Children's Hospital were assessed. Children were diagnosed as having IgE-mediated egg allergy based on immediate allergic reaction after egg consumption and an EWsIgE level of > 0.35 kU/L. The children were divided into "tolerant" and "persistent" groups according to tolerance acquisition defined as egg consumption without adverse allergic reactions.
Of 124 participants, egg allergy resolved in 101 (81.5%) children. The persistent group had more atopic dermatitis (P = 0.039), and more wheat (P = 0.009) and peanut (P = 0.012) allergies compared to the tolerant group. The EWsIgE levels at diagnosis (EWsIgEdiag) were higher in the persistent group than in the tolerant group (P = 0.001). The trend of the EWsIgE levels in the tolerant group decreased markedly over time compared to the persistent group (P < 0.001). In predicting egg allergy tolerance acquisition, the reduction rate of EWsIgE level after 12 months from diagnosis (ΔEWsIgE12mo) tended to be more accurate than EWsIgEdiag (area under the curve: 0.835 vs. 0.731). When ΔEWsIgE12mo was ≥ 30%, tolerance acquisition was more frequent than that of < 30% (91.9% vs. 57.9%; P < 0.001).
ΔEWsIgE12mo can be used as an early independent predictor of tolerance acquisition of IgE-mediated egg allergy in children.


Egg hypersensitivity; immunoglobulin E; egg white; food allergy; child
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