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Anaphylaxis in children and adolescents: The European Anaphylaxis Registry


Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis in children and adolescents is a potentially life-threatening condition. Its heterogeneous clinical presentation and sudden occurrence in virtually any setting without warning have impeded a comprehensive description.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize severe allergic reactions in terms of elicitors, symptoms, emergency treatment, and long-term management in European children and adolescents.
METHODS: The European Anaphylaxis Registry recorded details of anaphylaxis after referral for in-depth diagnosis and counseling to 1 of 90 tertiary allergy centers in 10 European countries, aiming to oversample the most severe reactions. Data were retrieved from medical records by using a multilanguage online form.
RESULTS: Between July 2007 and March 2015, anaphylaxis was identified in 1970 patients younger than 18 years. Most incidents occurred in private homes (46%) and outdoors (19%). One third of the patients had experienced anaphylaxis previously. Food items were the most frequent trigger (66%), followed by insect venom (19%). Cow's milk and hen's egg were prevalent elicitors in the first 2 years, hazelnut and cashew in preschool-aged children, and peanut at all ages. There was a continuous shift from food- to insect venom- and drug-induced anaphylaxis up to age 10 years, and there were few changes thereafter. Vomiting and cough were prevalent symptoms in the first decade of life, and subjective symptoms (nausea, throat tightness, and dizziness) were prevalent later in life. Thirty percent of cases were lay treated, of which 10% were treated with an epinephrine autoinjector. The fraction of intramuscular epinephrine in professional emergency treatment increased from 12% in 2011 to 25% in 2014. Twenty-six (1.3%) patients were either admitted to the intensive care unit or had grade IV/fatal reactions.
CONCLUSIONS: The European Anaphylaxis Registry confirmed food as the major elicitor of anaphylaxis in children, specifically hen's egg, cow's milk, and nuts. Reactions to insect venom were seen more in young adulthood. Intensive care unit admissions and grade IV/fatal reactions were rare. The registry will serve as a systematic foundation for a continuous description of this multiform condition.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis in children and adolescents is a potentially life-threatening condition. Its heterogeneous clinical presentation and sudden occurrence in virtually any setting without warning have impeded a comprehensive description.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize severe allergic reactions in terms of elicitors, symptoms, emergency treatment, and long-term management in European children and adolescents.
METHODS: The European Anaphylaxis Registry recorded details of anaphylaxis after referral for in-depth diagnosis and counseling to 1 of 90 tertiary allergy centers in 10 European countries, aiming to oversample the most severe reactions. Data were retrieved from medical records by using a multilanguage online form.
RESULTS: Between July 2007 and March 2015, anaphylaxis was identified in 1970 patients younger than 18 years. Most incidents occurred in private homes (46%) and outdoors (19%). One third of the patients had experienced anaphylaxis previously. Food items were the most frequent trigger (66%), followed by insect venom (19%). Cow's milk and hen's egg were prevalent elicitors in the first 2 years, hazelnut and cashew in preschool-aged children, and peanut at all ages. There was a continuous shift from food- to insect venom- and drug-induced anaphylaxis up to age 10 years, and there were few changes thereafter. Vomiting and cough were prevalent symptoms in the first decade of life, and subjective symptoms (nausea, throat tightness, and dizziness) were prevalent later in life. Thirty percent of cases were lay treated, of which 10% were treated with an epinephrine autoinjector. The fraction of intramuscular epinephrine in professional emergency treatment increased from 12% in 2011 to 25% in 2014. Twenty-six (1.3%) patients were either admitted to the intensive care unit or had grade IV/fatal reactions.
CONCLUSIONS: The European Anaphylaxis Registry confirmed food as the major elicitor of anaphylaxis in children, specifically hen's egg, cow's milk, and nuts. Reactions to insect venom were seen more in young adulthood. Intensive care unit admissions and grade IV/fatal reactions were rare. The registry will serve as a systematic foundation for a continuous description of this multiform condition.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:April 2016
Deposited On:10 Feb 2017 10:19
Last Modified:10 Feb 2017 10:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-6749
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2015.11.015
PubMed ID:26806049

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