METHODS: Adult patients who were referred for evaluation of presumed food allergy to the Allergy Clinic, Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, between January 2015-December 2016 were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: Ninety-five patients were evaluated. Sixty-four were female (67%). The mean age at presentation was 33 years (20-76). The history of atopic diseases, known food allergy and family history of atopy were present in 19 (20%), 4 (4%) and 8 (8%), respectively. Eighty patients (84%) presented with various dermatologic symptoms of which urticaria accounted for about half (36 patients). Anaphylaxis was found in 4 patients (4%). Twenty-two patients (23%) reported shellfish as the culprit while 12 patients (13%) reported multiple food allergies and 44 patients (46%) had no food in suspicion. Twenty-three patients (24%) underwent allergy testing in which commercial skin prick test (CSPT), fresh food skin prick test (FFSPT), specific IgE levels and open food challenge were performed in 17, 3, 9 and 2 patients, respectively. Only 4 patients (4%) had confirmed IgE-mediated food allergy by CSPT and/or specific IgE levels in 3 patients and FFSPT in 1 patient.
CONCLUSIONS: Most adult patients presented with dermatologic reactions in self-reported food allergy. However, the clinical correlation was poor. Proper evaluation and reassurance might be beneficial to reduce unnecessary referral, investigations and food avoidance.