Enhanced early skin treatment for atopic dermatitis in infants reduces food allergy

PACI Study Collaborators

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Early-onset atopic dermatitis is a strong risk factor for food allergy, suggesting that early effective treatment may prevent transcutaneous sensitization. Objectives: This study tested whether enhanced treatment of atopic dermatitis to clinically affected and unaffected skin is more effective in preventing hen's egg allergy than reactive treatment to clinically affected skin only. Methods: This was a multicenter, parallel-group, open-label, assessor-blind, randomized controlled trial (PACI [Prevention of Allergy via Cutaneous Intervention] study). This study enrolled infants 7-13 weeks old with atopic dermatitis and randomly assigned infants in a 1:1 ratio to enhanced early skin treatment or conventional reactive treatment using topical corticosteroids (TCSs). The primary outcome was the proportion of immediate hen's egg allergy confirmed by oral food challenge at 28 weeks of age. Results: This study enrolled 650 infants and analyzed 640 infants (enhanced [n = 318] or conventional [n = 322] treatment). Enhanced treatment significantly reduced hen's egg allergy compared with the conventional treatment (31.4% vs 41.9%, P = .0028; risk difference: –10.5%, upper bound of a 1-sided CI: –3.0%), while it lowered body weight (mean difference: –422 g, 95% CI: –553 to –292 g) and height (mean difference: –0.8 cm, 95% CI: –1.22 to –0.33 cm) at 28 weeks of age. Conclusions: This study highlighted the potential of well-controlled atopic dermatitis management as a component of a hen's egg allergy prevention strategy. The enhanced treatment protocol of this trial should be modified before it can be considered as an approach to prevent hen's egg allergy in daily practice to avoid the adverse effects of TCSs. After remission induction by TCSs, maintenance therapy with lower potency TCSs or other topical therapies might be considered as alternative proactive treatments to overcome the safety concerns of TCSs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 07-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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