Association Between Allergen Sensitization and Anaphylaxis in Patients Visiting a Pediatric Emergency Department

Won Seok Lee, Lily Myung Jin Cha, Man Yong Han, Kyung Suk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic disease, can be triggered by various causes. This study investigated the association between allergic sensitization and anaphylactic symptoms and the severity of anaphylaxis in children. Patients and Methods: A retrospective review of 107 pediatric patients with anaphylaxis was performed between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017; 74 patients underwent allergen testing for specific immunoglobulin E. Allergic sensitizations and associations with anaphylactic symptoms and severity were investigated. Results: Overall, 64 (86.5%) patients were sensitized to food or inhalant allergens. In children under 2 years of age, 90.5% were sensitized to food (P = 0.001); in those over 6 years of age, 84.6% were sensitized to inhalant allergens (P = 0.001). Milk sensitization was significantly associated with severe anaphylaxis (P = 0.036). The following symptoms showed significant associations with certain allergen sensitizations: facial edema with food; wheezing with milk; dyspnea with mite, etc. Certain allergen sensitizations presenting as risk factors for anaphylactic symptoms: wheat (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.644, P = 0.044) and nuts (aOR=3.614, P = 0.041) for wheezing, nuts (aOR=5.201, P = 0.026) for dyspnea, and milk (aOR=4.712, P = 0.048) for vomiting. Conclusion: The allergen sensitization status differed according to the age of the children experiencing anaphylaxis. The severity, symptoms, and signs of anaphylaxis differed depending on the allergen sensitization status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number651375
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
StatePublished - 2021 Jun 8
Externally publishedYes


  • allergen
  • anaphylaxis
  • children
  • emergency department
  • sensitization


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