Half of patients with sunflower seed allergy experience anap
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In a recent case series, researchers found that half of patients with a clinical allergy to sunflower seeds experienced anaphylaxis after undergoing allergy tests.

The retrospective case series examined 117 adult patients sensitive to sunflower seeds. These patients underwent skin tests and detection of specific IgE. At times, oral food challenges were also recommended and performed. A total of 28 patients were recognized to have a clinical allergy to sunflower seed, amounting to 24% of those included in the study. Most of those also had a history of atopic disease and reactions to nuts and Rosaceae fruit. Fourteen patients (50%) suffered anaphylaxis, with all of those reactions graded as moderate save one. Of those suffering from anaphylaxis, 71% needed to go to the emergency department.

“As far as we are aware, this is the largest case series of sunflower seed sensitization,” said first author. “With half of the patients with a clinical allergy to sunflower seed experiencing anaphylaxis, it’s important that this allergen continues to be studied so we can develop tools to keep these individuals safe from exposure.”

Following skin tests the skin test wheal size, which is larger the more sensitive a patient is, was significantly larger for those with sunflower clinical allergy than those who could tolerate ingesting it. There were also significant differences in sunflower seed-IgE levels between the two groups. Additionally, skin testing reactivity to Artemisia pollen was more frequent in those allergic to sunflower seeds (71% vs. 22%).

“In conclusion, half of the patients with clinical allergy to sunflower seed experienced anaphylaxis,” researchers said. “The size of sunflower seed skin tests, sunflower seed IgE level and reactivity to Artemisia pollen seems to be associated with clinical reactivity.”

Source: https://www.allergyadvocacyassociation.org/index.php/in-the-news/958-new-study-examines-allergic-reactions-to-sunflowers
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