De novo food sensitization and eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease in children post-liver transplantation

Julia Wisniewski, Jay Lieberman, Anna Nowak-Weogonekgrzyn, Nanda Kerkar, Ronen Arnon, Kishore Iyer, Tamir Miloh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Children have increased prevalence of food allergy (FA) and eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease (EGID) following liver transplantation. The aim of this study was to identify related risk factors. Methods: Chart review of pediatric liver transplant (LT) recipients with de novo FA and/or EGID post-LT and non-allergic controls. Results: We identified 30 (8.5%) children with FA and/or EGID among 352 pediatric LT recipients. Median age at transplant was 0.9 inter-quartile range (IQR 0.6-2.0) years. FA developed at a median 1.0 (IQR 0.5-8.2) yr post-LT and manifested with gastrointestinal symptoms (53%) or urticaria/angioedema (40%). Commonly avoided foods included milk (60%), egg (57%), and peanut (47%). Of the 15 children with FA who underwent endoscopy, 11 had eosinophilic infiltrates in multiple segments of the esophagus alone or in combination with other bowel segments. FA and EGID were linked to transplantation at a younger age (median, 0.9 vs. 5.5 yr), higher frequency of blood eosinophilia, and prior history of rhinitis and atopic dermatitis. Tacrolimus use and tacrolimus serum levels were similar between allergic subjects and controls. Conclusions: Findings suggest that exposure to tacrolimus alone post-LT is insufficient to initiate de novo allergic disease in LT recipients; rather, younger age and underlying predisposition to atopic disease may play larger roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E365-E371
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Eosinophilic colitis
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease
  • Food allergy
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Liver transplantation/transplant
  • Tacrolimus
  • Transplantation/transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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