1Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Perugia,
2Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Verona
3Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Roma
4Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Brescia
5Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Milano
6Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università di Bologna
*ETAC Italian Study Group
Key words: Atopic dermatitis, Asthma, Atopy, IgE, Pneumoallergens, Cetirizine
A multicentre study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of early treatment with cetirizine of children affected by atopic dermatitis. 817 patients aged 12 to 24 months and affected by atopic dermatitis were randomized to receive either cetirizine (0.25 mg/kg twice a day) or placebo for 18 months. Total and specific IgE levels as well as physical examination were performed throughout the study period. Sensitivity to house mite and cat but also to pollen were shown to be highly predictive of the risk of subsequent development of asthma. There were no significant differences between cetirizine and placebo groups with respect to the development of asthma but in the subgroup of patients with high baseline IgE for pollen and house dust mite treatment with cetirizine was associated with lower incidence of asthma. These results cannot be considered conclusive until the data on longer followup will be available.
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