ATLANTA (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – The majority of patients who had cooked egg exposure following a negative physician-supervised baked egg oral challenge are tolerating cooked egg, according to a retrospective study.

However, no correlation between results and development of tolerance was identified with skin prick testing or serum IgE testing.

“We know that a majority of children over time will outgrow egg allergy, but with baked egg introduction more of these children go on to develop it sooner and have less adverse events,” lead study author Tammy Peng, MD, said in an interview in advance of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. “We wondered: If a baked egg trial is negative, what next? We tend to recommend frequent egg consumption for our patients because we want them to go on and tolerate other forms of egg. Most of them will be adherent for some time, but what happens after the follow-up period?”

To find out, Dr. Peng, a second-year fellow in the department of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her associates identified 22 patients who underwent negative physician-supervised baked egg oral challenges from July 2011 until June 2016. They reviewed medical charts to obtain data on age, clinical history, skin prick test results, and results of serum IgE testing to egg and its components. Next, the researchers contacted patients and their families and invited them to participate in a telephone survey about patterns of baked, cooked, and raw egg exposure and associated reactions, following their negative baked challenge. The patients ranged in age from 10 months to 44 years and their mean age was 7 years.

Dr. Peng presented results from 18 of the 22 patients who were successfully contacted. A mean of 26 months had passed since their baked egg oral challenge. Of these patients, 17 (94%) have had continued exposure to egg while 15 (83%) have shown tolerance to cooked egg. The researchers observed variable patterns of baked egg intake following the negative physician-supervised baked egg challenge. “Some patients are able to tolerate cooked egg rapidly but are not interested in continuing frequent consumption,” Dr. Peng said. “They may say, ‘My 3-year-old doesn’t like scrambled eggs, so I’m not going to keep pushing them.’ They’re not considering themselves egg allergic so their quality of life is much better. I understand that tolerating baked egg is a big deal, as an allergist I want to see them do more, such as tolerating cooked egg.”

When patients were asked about adverse reactions to egg consumption, three (17%) described gastrointestinal symptoms, five (28%) described cutaneous symptoms, and three (17%) described respiratory reactions. Dr. Peng noted that of the three patients who have not achieved tolerance to cooked egg, one patient reported mild reaction to baked egg 2 weeks after the baked egg challenge, while the other two continue to have baked egg exposure but have not yet introduced cooked egg into their diets. “I hope that most pediatricians and family practice physicians consider referral to an allergist if they’re not comfortable introducing a baked egg oral challenge.”

The researchers could not identify any correlation between skin prick or serum IgE test results and development of tolerance to cooked egg. “Data in the literature suggests that serum testing is predictive [of tolerance], but it’s not 100%,” Dr. Peng said.

She reported having no relevant financial disclosures.