Awareness of allergic enterocolitis among primary-care paediatricians: A web-based pilot survey.

Allergologia et immunopathologia

PubMedID: 27498217

Comberiati P, Landi M, Martelli A, Piacentini GL, Capristo C, Paiola G, Peroni DG. Awareness of allergic enterocolitis among primary-care paediatricians: A web-based pilot survey. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2016;.
Allergic enterocolitis, also known as food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), is an increasingly reported and potentially severe non-IgE mediated food allergy of the first years of life, which is often misdiagnosed due to its non-specific presenting symptoms and lack of diagnostic guidelines.

We sought to determine the knowledge of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic features of FPIES among Italian primary-care paediatricians.

A 16-question anonymous web-based survey was sent via email to randomly selected primary care paediatricians working in the north of Italy.

There were 194 completed surveys (48.5% response rate). Among respondents, 12.4% declared full understanding of FPIES, 49% limited knowledge, 31.4% had simply heard about FPIES and 7.2% had never heard about it. When presented with clinical anecdotes, 54.1% recognised acute FPIES and 12.9% recognised all chronic FPIES, whereas 10.3% misdiagnosed FPIES as allergic proctocolitis or infantile colic. To diagnose FPIES 55.7% declared to need negative skin prick test or specific-IgE to the trigger food, whereas 56.7% considered necessary a confirmatory oral challenge. Epinephrine was considered the mainstay in treating acute FPIES by 25.8% of respondents. Only 59.8% referred out to an allergist for the long-term reintroduction of the culprit food. Overall, 20.1% reported to care children with FPIES in their practice, with cow's milk formula and fish being the most common triggers; the diagnosis was self-made by the participant in 38.5% of these cases and by an allergist in 48.7%.

There is a need for promoting awareness of FPIES to minimise delay in diagnosis and unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.