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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 1

of 'Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of oral allergy syndrome (pollen-food allergy syndrome)'

A survey on the management of pollen-food allergy syndrome in allergy practices.
Ma S, Sicherer SH, Nowak-Wegrzyn A
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;112(4):784.
BACKGROUND: There is no consensus on the diagnosis and therapy of oral allergy syndrome (OAS; also known as pollen-food allergy syndrome), a disorder caused by IgE antibody-mediated reactions to homologous proteins in pollens and fruits and vegetables.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine how practicing allergists define and treat OAS.
METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to 226 randomly selected US allergists from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology directory.
RESULTS: One hundred twenty-two (54%) returned surveys were analyzed. Median estimates of the prevalence of OAS among the patients with pollen allergy were 5% among children and 8% among adults. Twenty percent of allergists reported that some patients progressed to systemic symptoms. Fifty-three percent of allergists recommended complete avoidance of causal foods to all patients, whereas 9% did not advocate any restrictions. Thirty percent never prescribed epinephrine for OAS, 3% always did, and the remainder did so on the basis of symptoms. When presented with clinical cases, 20% diagnosed systemic reactions to peach as OAS, 13% believed peanut could cause OAS, and 25% did not prescribe epinephrine for peanut allergy manifested by oral symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Allergists' estimates of the prevalence of OAS in patients with pollen allergy (5%-8%) are lower than the prevalence reported (approximately 50%) in the published studies of these patients, perhaps reflecting a low index of suspicion, underdiagnosis, or both. The wide range of responses regarding diagnosis and management indicates the need for a better definition for the disorder and standard therapeutic guidelines. Discrepancies might be related to the term OAS, and therefore use of the more specific term "pollen-food allergy syndrome" is suggested.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, New York, NY 10029, USA.