The appropriate use of skin testing and allergen immunotherapy in young children

Dennis R. Ownby, Allen D. Adinoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Immunotherapy is clearly effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and Hymenoptera sensitivity and probably effective in the treatment of asthma. Few studies evaluate the risks and benefits of immunotherapy in young children. Current evidence suggests that young children are at increased risk for systemic reactions from immunotherapy. Furthermore, immunotherapy or adverse reactions resulting from immunotherapy may result in significant psychologic problems. The potential risks of immunotherapy would be justified if immunotherapy were demonstrated to be safe and additive to other therapies. Immunotherapy might be particularly effective in treating or helping to prevent house dust mite- or cockroach-associated asthma. Until the efficacy of immunotherapy is demonstrated in young children, we agree with the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology position that immunotherapy in young children is relatively contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-665
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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