Severe food-induced vasculitis in two children.
Allergy and Immunology Division, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy.
Food-induced vasculitis seems to be rare and is considered by some as controversial. The reported cases in the literature are few and mostly on adult patients. Described in this report are two children with severe vasculitis caused by specific foods. They were diagnosed at two separate allergy centers that have a special interest in food allergies. Case 1 was an 8-year-old girl with a 9-month history of cutaneous vasculitis with large joints involvement. Case 2 was a 23-month-old girl with an 8-month history of multiple hospitalizations for recurrent acute severe cutaneous and mucous membrane vasculitis with large joints involvement. In both patients, skin biopsy showed leucocytoclastic vasculitis. In neither of the patients could the symptoms be attributed to drug intake, infection, autoimmunity, or other systemic disease. Case 1 had a moderately elevated serum total immunoglobulin E (IgE) level and strongly positive skin test and radioallergosorbent test (RAST) to cow’s milk and hen’s egg, both of which were proven to be the cause by elimination-challenge tests. Case 2 had a slightly elevated serum total IgE level, but negative skin tests to foods, including chocolate that was suspected by the mother. Avoidance of chocolate resulted in remission, except following accidental ingestion of cocoa-containing products. These findings support the few previous reports on food-induced vasculitis, an entity that seems rare but may be more common than currently realized.
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