Four infants presenting with severe vomiting in solid food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome: a case series
1 Department of Immunology, St Helier Hospital, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 1AA, UK
2 Consultant in Immunology and Allergy, St Helier Hospital, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 1AA, UK
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:160 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-160Published: 26 June 2012
Several different foods have been implicated in inducing the delayed and very significant vomiting and sometimes diarrhea that occurs in food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. While immunoglobulin E is not involved, the mechanism(s) that result in the food-induced gastrointestinal symptoms are unclear, although T cell activation has been considered. We report four cases of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome caused by different solid foods and without concomitant immunoglobulin E sensitization to milk and soya. Clinical and laboratory evidence of type I immunoglobulin E mediated food reactivity and food-induced T cell activation was absent in each case.
Case 1 concerned a 20-month-old South Asian boy who had experienced four episodes of severe vomiting with flaccidity since four months of age and two hours after consuming rice.
Case 2 involved a nine-month-old Caucasian boy who had suffered three episodes of severe vomiting with flaccidity since six months of age and three hours after consuming wheat.
The child in Case 3 was a 16-month-old Caucasian boy who had suffered three episodes of severe vomiting with flaccidity since nine months of age and two hours after consuming cod.
Case 4 involved a 15-month-old South Asian boy who had suffered three episodes of severe vomiting since eight months of age and two hours after consuming chicken.
In children with recurrent marked delayed vomiting after the ingestion of specific foods and in whom bronchospasm, skin rash and angioedema are absent, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome should be considered. Skin prick testing and specific immunoglobulin E antibodies are negative and the mechanism of the vomiting is unclear. We speculate whether food protein-induced oligoclonal T cell activation may be present. This has similarities to various animal models and improvement may involve deletion of these T cells.