October 4, 2017 – Testing Need


Anchor lead: Why are food challenges needed? Elizabeth Tracey reports

In the wake of the recent death of a three year old following a food challenge test, a new study of over six thousand such tests done in allergist's offices found the safety profile very reassuring. Corrine Keet, an allergist at Johns Hopkins, explains why such testing is necessary at all.

Keet: Food challenges are really a mainstay of food allergy diagnosis and that's because our testing is not that great. So we have skin tests and blood tests for food allergy and we know that there are a lot of false positives with skin tests and blood tests and so in many cases we do have to do a food challenge when the diagnosis is in doubt. We know that there are many people who are walking around with diagnoses of food allergy that are really not true or are no longer true so we do food challenges when we're not sure that somebody is truly allergic to a food or we're wondering if they may have outgrown that food allergy.  :30

Keet notes that supposed food allergy can compromise someone's quality of life because of the vigilance needed around food choices. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.