Anales de pediatria (Barcelona, Spain : 2003) 2018 01 09() pii S1695-4033(17)30471-X
Food allergy is an increasing health problem in the developed world. Cow’s milk protein is the main cause of food allergy in infants. Without an appropriate diagnostic workup, there is a high risk of both over- and underdiagnosis and therefore, over and undertreatment. The objective of our study was to analyze the variability in cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) management by pediatric gastroenterologists in Spain.
A fifty item questionnaire, including open and closed items in a Likert’s scale from 0 to 5, was drafted and distributed through the Spanish Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (SEGHNP) e-mail list.
Seventy-three questionnaires were received back out of 321. Only 3 of the items achieved concordance greater than 90%. Thirty-three percent considered oral challenge to be necessary for the diagnosis of CMPA under any circumstance. Twenty-five percent considered that symptom improvement after cow’s milk removal was enough for the diagnosis. Oral challenge was performed at home by 83.5% in non-IgE mediated cases. Extensively hydrolyzed casein formulas were the treatment of choice for 69.9%. Soy formulas were the last option. Almost all respondents were aware of the existence of clinical guidelines on CMPA, being European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition guidelines the most followed (64.4%). Twenty-three percent considered that their knowledge about allergy was inadequate.
Although CMPA is a prevalent condition that pediatric gastroenterologists have been treating for decades, we found a huge variability on its management. There is potential for improvement in this field among pediatric gastroenterologist in the future.