ALLERGY AND ASTHMA PROCEEDINGS, vol.34, no.4, pp.356-361, 2013 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Aeroallergens may trigger symptoms in sensitized children with asthma. Documentation of sensitization is crucial to enable effective implementation of measures to prevent asthma exacerbations. To document the sensitization patterns of very young children (<= 2 years) with asthma, we retrospectively analyzed the skin-prick test (SPT) results of the largest referral center in the country. During a 4-year period, 432 children (median age, 1.21 years; male/female, 2.35) were referred. All patients had recurrent wheezing attacks and good response to inhaled bronchodilators and were diagnosed with asthma by their referring physician. SPT with eight aeroallergens (grass mix, weed mix, tree mix, mold mix, house-dust mite, cockroach, cat, and dog) was performed in 209 patients (full panel group) and the remaining 223 were tested only with a mixture of two house-dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae; house-dust mite group). The sensitization rates in house-dust mite and full panel groups were 3.2% (7/223) and 3.3% (7/209), respectively. Univariate and multivariate modeling was unable to identify a predictor for the presence of aeroallergen sensitization. During first 2 years of life, low rates of aeroallergen sensitization and lack of predictors of sensitization in children with asthma suggest that skin testing for aeroallergens may not be a routine procedure. When there is a high index of suspicion, testing only for indoor aeroallergens including house-dust mites, molds, and pets may identify the majority of sensitized children.