Research Article: Acquired cow’s milk sensitization after liver transplant in an adult: “clinical implications” and future strategies

Date Published: February 21, 2019

Publisher: BioMed Central

Author(s): C. Caruso, E. Pinter, E. Poli, F. Ferri, M. Merli, S. Colantuono, G. Mennini, F. Melandro, G. Rumi, R. Galandrini, S. Ginanni Corradini.


Identifying the mechanisms responsible for the development of food allergy in liver transplant recipients is more complex as there are several different clinical scenarios related to the immunological function of the liver.

We describe the first case of Transplant Acquired Food Allergy (TAFA) to cow milk in an adult following LT from a donor dead because of anaphylactic shock. A 67-year-old woman with primary biliary cirrhosis was referred to the Transplant Center of our hospital because of an acute-on-chronic liver failure. The donor was a 15-year-old girl deceased for anoxic encephalopathy due to food induced anaphylaxis after eating a biscuit. In the donor’s history food allergies to cow milk and eggs were present.

This case emphasizes the need for a standardized assessment of both solid-organ donors and recipients including donor allergy history in order to detect recipients at risk for anaphylaxis due to passive IgE transfer. Despite several reports of TAFA after solid organ, especially liver, an appropriate protocol to avoid risk for the recipient doesn’t exist at the moment. The SPT (skin prick test) or specific IgE level are not enough to ensure a correct management in these cases and a correct education of the patients and the medical staff involved is absolutely necessary. It is the first case of milk allergy sensitization after solid organ transplant by passive transfer of IgE.

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