Allergy

Atopic Conjunctivitis in Children: Influence of Treatment with Topical Cyclosporin 0.05% in the Quality of Life

Published on: 31st January, 2017

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7317598595

Introduction: Forty-six per cent children have allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (Allergologica 2005). Working hypothesis: Ocular topical cyclosporine improves the quality of life for these patients. Material, methods, design: 2-year prospective study (2015-16), 40 patients with topical corticosteroids without improvement, followed 20 and 20 switched to corticosteroids cyclosporine 0.05%. Interview with Quality of Life Questionnaire in Children with rhinoconjunctivitis (PRQLQ) before and at the end of treatment. Mean age of 10.3 years with 60% male-40% female. Treatments were applied from January to March. There were 15 questions divided into two blocks. Children responded using a card with responses rated from zero (not bothered at all) to 6 (quite upset). Results: Before the 100% reported that, the itching was very bothersome. In the group of 40 children, 80% showed symptoms of epiphora and 60% showed symptoms of ocular inflammation. 100% complained of significant discomfort in rubbing their eyes, 30% did not like to take medications. Headaches affected 20%. 100% stated that they cannot play normally. 80% showed decreased concentration in class. Continuing with corticosteroids did not show statistically significant changes. Patients with cyclosporine improved the results by 3 points, with decreased itching, tearing, swelling, pain, eye rubbing, medication and headaches. In the 2nd questionnaire there was limited variation in the results related to fatigue, malaise, and irritability but with substantially improved balance of sleep, insomnia and concentration at school. Conclusion: Cyclosporine A is a cyclic polypeptide calcineurin inhibitor developed from the fungus Tolypocladium inflatum. The first dilution was 2% but it is currently used at a dilution of 0.05% and recent publications suggest nanosuspensions. Our study showed improvement in parameters related to symptoms, especially itching and lower improvement of psychological aspects, this achieves a better quality of life for children and more willingness to adhere to the treatment.
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Prevalence of reported drug allergy and its impact on Beta lactam use with financial and health implications

Published on: 22nd August, 2017

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7317598807

Background:While recognition and documentation of true drug allergy is critically important, most physicians acknowledge that its prevalence is likely overestimated, often on the basis of historical, sometimes anecdotal evidence. Correct or not, once applied, drug allergy labels may result in altered, potentially inferior therapy, increased costs and prolonged hospitalisation. Objective:Estimate the point prevalence, accuracy and symptomatology of self-reported drug allergy in a typical, large NHS Acute Trust adult inpatient population. In the subset with penicillin allergy (PA), estimate additional management costs from the use of alternative antibiotics and readmission rates in the previous 5 years. Methods:Data on self-reported drug allergies were extracted from 440 adult inpatient prescription charts over a 4 month period. Where penicillin allergy (PA) was reported, alternative antibiotic regimens were recorded and their additional costs calculated. Hospital electronic records were used to assess readmission rates of PA patients. Results:194/440 inpatients (44.5%) reported at least one drug allergy. Antibiotic allergy was most commonly reported (51%), followed by analgesic (23%) and antiemetic (12%) allergy. PA accounted for 76% of reported antibiotic allergy. The commonest reported symptoms were cutaneous (42%) and gastrointestinal (18%). Where antibiotic therapy was required for patients with PA to manage acute infections, Ciprofloxacin, Clarithromycin, Teicoplanin, Clindamycin and Cefuroxime were the most commonly employed alternatives. Extrapolation of these figures to include the entire Trust inpatient population suggested that the use of alternative antibiotics in PA patients incurred additional annual expenditure of £268,000. Further, 87% of PA patients had been admitted more than once in the preceding 5 years, with 74% requiring further courses of antibiotics during these admissions. Conclusion:Self-reported drug allergy, and in particular PA, is common in hospital inpatient populations and, in addition to the potentially unnecessary hazards to individual patients resulting from the use of alternative antibiotics, results in a considerable additional financial burden to the healthcare system. This problem could be eliminated by the provision of a nationwide and equitable tertiary Allergy service.
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A retrospective cohort study to evaluate the relationship of airway hyperresponsiveness to type 2 biomarkers in persistent asthma

Published on: 17th February, 2021

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8927344068

Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a hallmark of persistent asthma measured using direct or indirect airway bronchial challenge testing. The purpose of this study is to investigate the putative relationships between type 2 inflammatory biomarkers, airway geometry (FEV1 and FEF25-75) and specific IgE (RAST or skin prick) to AHR. We performed a retrospective analysis of our database (n = 131) of patients with asthma. Of these subjects, 75 had a histamine challenge and 56 had a mannitol challenge. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) but not blood eosinophils were significantly higher in patients with AHR to either histamine or mannitol. FEV1 % and FEF25 - 75 % were significantly lower in patients with AHR. Elevated Type 2 biomarkers including FeNO and specific IgE but not blood eosinophils were associated with AHR. Highlights: FeNO and specific IgE but not blood eosinophils are raised in patients with airway hyperresponsiveness.
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Higher venom-specific IgE levels differentiate children with previous local large reactions from children with previous systemic reactions of different severity

Published on: 19th March, 2021

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8972361005

Introduction: Risk factors for systemic reactions (SRs) from hymenoptera venom (HV) allergy are well known in the adult population but they have been little studied in the pediatric one. Method: The aim of our study was to identify risk factors for SRs in a population of children allergic to HV, comparing a series of clinical (age, gender, atopy, asthma) and laboratory (total IgE, tryptase, venom-specific IgE levels) variables between patients with at least two large local reactions (LLRs) and patients with SRs of different severity for the identified insect. We selected a population of HV allergic children aged < 15 years with LLRs or SRs stratified according to Mueller grades after stinging. Results: The population included 80 children, 35 with at least 2 LLRs and 45 with SRs. The level of specific IgE for vespid (Polistes dominula, Vespula species) venoms was significantly higher (p = 0.0321) in children with SRs (Mueller grade II+III+IV) than in those with LLRs and the same significance was also found for specific IgE for Apis mellifera, considering SRs group (Mueller grade I+II+III+IV) in respect with LLRs group (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: The main difference in our pediatric population was the highest level of specific IgE in children with a history of SRs compared to those with a history of LLRs for both vespids and honey bees. These results, once confirmed on a larger population, could suggest the opportunity to follow the behavior of venom specific IgE in children with LLRs to reveal a risk to develop future more serious reactions.
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Management of acute tongue swelling

Published on: 14th July, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8631718785

Background: Tongue swelling often presents as an acute upper airway obstruction. Aim: To present a case series of patients presenting with an acute tongue swelling sharing our experience in managing these patients. Subjects and methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients presenting acutely to the emergency department (ED) at two institutions in Scotland. All patients were evaluated by an otolaryngologist for probable causes of tongue swelling. Data were collected on demographics, co-morbidities, clinical history, examination findings, acute airway management and subsequent care the patients needed. Results: A total of 32 patients (mean age ± STD, 61.6 ± 18.8; 65% male) were included in the study from two teaching hospitals. The most common presenting symptoms were difficulty in speaking (30/32, 94%) and dysphagia (27/32, 84%). Breathing difficulty was only observed in 8 of 32 patients (25%). Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor’s induced angioedema was the most common cause (45%) for acute tongue swelling. Three (9.4%) patients required intubation; 2 (6.3%) on initial presentation. Two patients had emergency tracheostomy for breathing difficulties due to supraglottic swelling on flexible pharyngolaryngoscopy. Conclusion: Acute tongue swelling is a life-threatening condition. The patients on ACE inhibitors would appear to be at higher risk of developing acute tongue swelling. Such patients with potentially compromised airway need to be treated in a facility where emergency intubation and tracheostomy can be performed at a short notice.
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Actinomycosis of the appendix

Published on: 17th October, 2018

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7906092415

A 40 year old woman presented to the emergency department with acute on chronic abdominal pain in her right iliac fossa. On history her pain had been present for over 6 months and had previously been investigated with ultrasound, CT and a diagnostic laparoscopy several months prior to presentation. Her pain had acutely worsened over the preceding two weeks. This was associated with two days of diarrhoea but nil other systemic symptoms. Her medical history was significant for immunosuppression with tacrolimus, azathioprine and prednisone post renal transplant for IgA nephropathy [1]. Her abdominal examination was unremarkable other than tenderness in her right iliac fossa and a palpable non-tender renal transplant. Her inflammatory markers, electrolytes and urine microscopy were unremarkable. She was further investigated with an ultrasound which demonstrated nil complications with her transplant and a non-contrast CT (due to contrast allergy). Her CT demonstrated a faecolith within the appendiceal lumen but no signs of acute appendicitis (Figure 1). Due to ongoing pain and CT finding of faecolith she was taken for a diagnostic laparoscopy with appendicectomy.   Figure 1: Non-contrast CT demonstrating faecolith. Intraoperatively she had a macroscopically normal appendix and no other cause for the patients symptoms could be identified. A laparoscopic appendicectomy was performed with no complications. Her pain persisted postoperatively and she was discharged post operative day two with analgesia. Histology subsequently revealed actinomyces-like organisms consistent with actinomycosis of the appendix (Figure 2). Her case was discussed with the Infectious diseases team and she was started on an extended course of oral amoxicillin [2].   Figure 2: High Powered H&E stain & gram stain of actinomyces like organisms
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Proposal for the elimination of allergies

Published on: 11th July, 2019

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8185499410

A man I knew had an extreme allergy to poison ivy when he was a child. When he was about four-teen, he was hanging out with a group of his friends who dared him to eat some poison ivy. He did, and never got poison ivy again. Presumably, the ingestion of the allergen led to the development of immunity. This might be a pathway to eliminating allergies–ingest the allergen. For example, cutting up poison ivy leaves into small pieces and crushing them with a mortar and pestle should lead to some juice in the mortar. Allow that to evaporate and have a test subject ingest the resultant powder, which, like pollen, etc., could be compressed into a pill. Wait 48 hours, and then see if the subject gets a rash when a small, unimportant area of the body is exposed to poison ivy leaves–and have Ivy-Dry handy. This could be a way to eliminate allergies–ingestion of the allergen.
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A rare case report on pediatric shellfish allergy

Published on: 23rd November, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8796529764

Shellfish are extensively consumed worldwide because of their nutritional value. In general they are good sources of low-fat protein rich in several essential vitamins and minerals as well as in the essential nutrients omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) [1]. Shellfish belongs to “The Big 8” food groups causing allergy, which often does not outgrow during childhood. However, increase in IgE – mediated sea food allergy has been linked to shellfish. Seafood- associated shellfish include crustaceans & molluskans [2]. These may cause mild local symptoms & lead to severe systemic anaphylactic reactions by ingestion, inhalation, or contact. Globally, the prevalence of shellfish allergy estimated to be 0.5% to 2.5% of the general population [3]. There are limited data showing the prevalence of shellfish allergy in children. A study on US pediatric population showed 1.3% of shellfish allergy. Children were more allergic to crustacean (1.2%) than mollusks (0.5%) [4]. Tropomyosin is the major allergen.
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An algorithm to safely manage oral food challenge in an office-based setting for children with multiple food allergies

Published on: 11th August, 2021

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 9231823989

Background: In France, from 30% to 35% of children suffer from multiple food allergies (MFA). The gold standard to diagnosis a food allergy is the oral food challenge (OFC) which is conducted in a hospital setting due to risk of anaphylaxis. The aim of this study was to evaluate an algorithm to predict OFCs at low risk of anaphylaxis that could safely be performed in an office-based setting. Methods: Children with MFA and at least one open OFC reactive or non-reactive to other allergens were included. The algorithm was based on multiple clinical and biological parameters related to food allergens, and designed mainly to predict “low-risk” OFCs i.e., practicable in an office-based setting. The algorithm was secondarily tested in a validation cohort. Results: Ninety-one children (median age 9 years) were included; 94% had at least one allergic comorbidity with an average of three OFCs per child. Of the 261 OFCs analyzed, most (192/261, 74%) were non-reactive. The algorithm failed to correctly predict 32 OFCs with a potentially detrimental consequence but among these only three children had severe symptoms. One hundred eighty-four of the 212 “low-risk” OFCs, (88%) were correctly predicted with a high positive predictive value (87%) and low negative predictive value (44%). These results were confirmed with a validation cohort giving a specificity of 98% and negative predictive value of 100%. Conclusion: This study suggests that the algorithm we present here can predict “low-risk” OFCs in children with MFA which could be safely conducted in an office-based setting. Our results must be confirmed with an algorithm-based machine-learning approach.
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