Improving successful introduction after a negative food challenge test: How to achieve the best result?
Nutrients , Volume 12 - Issue 9 p. 1- 8
Oral food challenges (OFC) confirm or exclude the presence of a food allergy. The outcome can be positive (allergic symptoms), inconclusive, or negative (no symptoms). In the case of a negative OFC, parents and children are advised to introduce the challenged food allergen into their diet. However, previous studies showed difficulties in a successful introduction at home. The aim of this prospective non-randomized intervention study is to evaluate the effect of a new strategy with more guidance regarding the dietary introduction after a negative food challenge test. We compared two cohorts: an historical (retrospective) control group of 157 children, previously described, who did not receive any special advice after a negative OFC, versus a new cohort consisting of 104 children, who were guided according to our new strategy of written introduction schemes, food diaries, and several phone calls. In the historical control group, introduction was successful in 56%, partially successful in 16%, and 28% failed to introduce at home. After introduction of our new strategy, complete introduction was found in 82%, 11% had partially introduced, and only 8% failed to introduce the allergen. In conclusion, comprehensive advice and dietary recommendation after a negative OFC results in an increase in successful home introduction. Therefore, more attention, guidance, and follow-up of children and parents are desirable after a negative OFC.