For a study, researchers sought to understand that many children who have a liver transplant develop food allergies. The reason for this is still unknown. They looked at records from 107 children and adolescents who had a liver transplant to see if we could identify any risk factors for developing food allergies. About 12 months after the transplant, 22% of the children reported having a clinical reaction to food. The reactions happened more often in children with higher levels of total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and specific IgE, as well as eosinophils in their blood. The median time from transplantation to the development of a food allergy was 1.6 years. About 24 out of 78 patients (31%) discontinued mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) because of side effects. Children treated with MMF in addition to tacrolimus one year after transplantation reported less food allergy 12% vs. 37%, P=0.003) and sensitization to food allergens one year after transplantation (8% vs. 17%, P=0.02) than those not receiving MMF. Tacrolimus trough levels did not differ between the patients treated with MMF and those who were not. People who took MMF for 2 years after their transplant were less likely to have food allergies (P=0.001) or food sensitivities (P=0.002), even when they were adjusted for age at transplantation (P=0.006 and P=0.03, respectively) or use of basiliximab (P=0.015 and P=0.018, respectively). Basiliximab was also associated with fewer food allergies. People who took MMF for 1 or 2 years after their transplant were less likely to have food allergies and sensitization against food allergens. The effect of MMF was not due to reduced trough levels of tacrolimus.
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