Algorithm of conducting oral provocation tests with milk in 1–3-year-old children: analysis of existing standards and own experience

Keywords: cow’s milk protein allergy, oral provocation test, diagnostics, young children


Introduction. Food allergy is an urgent problem in modern pediatrics. Cow’s milk is the main food allergen in young children. By the age of one year, from 0.5 % to 3 % of children suffer from cow’s milk protein allergy.

Aim. To analyze the existing standards of conducting oral provocation tests with milk in young children and suggest own algorithm of diagnostics.

Materials and methods. Algorithm of diagnosing cow’s milk allergy was probated in 107 children aged from one to three years in Communal Municipal Children’s Clinical Hospital. To diagnose cow’s milk allergy, compilation of allergological anamnesis, examination, assessment of physical development, and determination of specific IgE to cow’s milk are performed. Then, different oral provocation tests are conducted based on the obtained results: at the allergist’s office on an outpatient basis, in a specialized inpatient department, in an intensive care unit.

Results. Among 107 children, who were subjected to oral provocation test with milk, cow’s milk protein allergy was diagnosed in 67 (62.62 %). In children, who were diagnosed cow’s milk protein allergy (n = 67), skin (41.79 %) and gastrointestinal (28.36 %) symptoms prevailed. In the group of children with predictable low risk of allergy, diameter of a papule equaled 3.86 ± 0.62 mm2, the level of specific IgE to milk in blood serum was 0.58 [0.37–0.68], and in the group with medium risk – 5.51 ± 1.38 mm2 and 3.62 [0.86–9.66] kU/L, respectively. All 40 children, in whom cow’s milk protein allergy was not confirmed, constituted the group with predictable low risk of reaction development. Diameter of a papule during prick-test equaled 3.13 ± 0.24 mm2, the level of specific IgE to milk in blood serum was 0.36 [0.35–0.67] kU/L. In this group of children, complaints of gastrointestinal symptoms (82.5 %) prevailed.

Conclusions. A complex diagnostic approach, in particular, study of anamnesis, examination, assessment of physical development, record of food diary, determination of specific IgE to milk, oral provocation tests enable to optimize diagnostics of food allergy and choose further therapeutic tactics. Algorithm of diagnosing cow’s milk protein allergy in 1–3-year-old children has been elaborated, which can be recommended for common application in clinical practice.


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Author Biography

Oksana Matsyura, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University

PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics № 2, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University; Communal Nonprofit Enterprise «City Children’s Clinical Hospital of Lviv», Allergy Department, Pekarska street, 69, Lviv, Ukraine, 79010


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How to Cite
Matsyura, O. (2021). Algorithm of conducting oral provocation tests with milk in 1–3-year-old children: analysis of existing standards and own experience. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Series "Medicine", (41).