Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.3(1) > 1110518

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2000 Mar;3(1):30-40. Korean.
Published online Mar 31, 2000.
Copyright © 2000 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Three Types of Clinical Manifestation of Cow's Milk Allergy with Predominantly Intestinal Symptoms
Jeong Jin Lee, Eun joo Lee, Hyun Hee Kim, Eunjin Choi, Jin Bok Hwang, Chang Ho Han, Hai Lee Chung, Young Dae Kwon and Yong Jin Kim1
Department of Pediatrics, Cathlic University of Taegu-Hyosung School of Medicine, Korea.
1Department of Pathology, Yeungnam University college of Medicine, Taegu, Korea.


During the first year of life, cow's milk protein is the major offender causing food allergy. Cow's milk allergy (CMA) affects 2~7% of infants, of which approximately one-half show predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms. We studied the clinical types of cow's milk allergy with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms (CMA-GI) of childhood.


The retrospective study was performed on 30 (male 22, female 8) patients who had diagnosed as CMA-GI during 2 years and 3 months from March 1995 to June 1997.


1) Children with CMA-GI presented in the three types of clinical manifestation on the basis of time to reaction to milk ingestion: Quick (Q) onset (5 cases), Slow (S) onset (20 cases), Quick & Slow (Q&S) (5 cases). 2) Age on admission of the three groups was significantly different (p<0.05): (Q onset: 81.4±67.1 days, S onset: 31.9±12.7 days, Q&S: 366.0±65.0 days). Although the body weight at birth was 10~95 percentile in all patients, body weight on admission was different: (Q onset: 10~50 percentile, S onset: below 10 percentile, Q&S: 10~25 percentile). S onset group was significantly different compared with other groups (p<0.05) and 90% of this one was failure to thrive below 3 percentile. 3) Peripheral leukocyte counts were as followings: (Q onset: 5,700~12,300/mm(3), S onset: 10,000~33,400/mm(3), Q&S 5,200~14,900/mm(3)). Slow onset group was significantly different compared with other groups (p<0.05). Serum albumin levels on admission were as followings: (Q onset: 4.2±0.4g/dl, S onset: 3.0± 0.3g/dl, Q&S: 4.0±0.3g/dl). S onset froup was significantly different compared with other groups(p<0.05) and 85% of this one was below 3.5g/dl. 4) Although morphometrical analysis on small intestinal mucosa did not show enteropathy in Q onset and Q&S groups, all cases of S onset revealed enteropathy: 45% of this one showed subtotal villous atrophy, 55% showed partial villous atrophy. 5) Allergic reaction test to other foods was not performed in S onset group because of ethical problem and high risk in general condition. In Q onset group, allergic reaction to one or two other foods: soy formula, weaning formula and eggs. Q&S group revealed allergic reactions to several foods or to most of all foods except protein hydrolysate formula: eggs, potatos, some kinds of sea food, apples, carrots, beef and chicken. 6) Serum IgE level, peripheral eosinophil counts, milk RAST, soy RAST, skin test were not significantly different among groups.


CMA-GI may present in three clinical ways on the basis of time to reaction to milk ingestion, typical clinical findings and morphologic changes in the small bowel mucosal biopsy specimens. This clinical subdivision might be helpful in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in CMA-GI. Early suspicion is mandatory especially in S onset type because of high risks with malnutrition and enteropathy.

Keywords: Cow's milk allergy; Intestinal; Clinical manifestation