Egg Allergy: Oral Immunotherapy Has Potential for Lasting Benefit Interview with:

Edward Kim, MD MSAssistant Professor of MedicineDivision of Rheumatology, Allergy and ImmunologyDirector, UNC Allergy and Immunology ClinicUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC

Dr. Kim

Edwin Kim, MD MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology
Director, UNC Allergy and Immunology Clinic
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background is that egg allergy remains one of the most common food allergies in childhood and although most patients will outgrow the allergy, it seems that many will carry into their teen years. As a result patients still have many years of risk of anaphylaxis, poor quality of life and potential nutritional deficits. The ability to introduce some amount of egg into the diet could have profound benefit to allergy patients.

The main findings are that after completing up to 4 years of egg oral immunotherapy (OIT), most patients are able to introduce at least baked egg products into the diet. The subset of patients who showed a lasting benefit by passing a food challenge 4-6 weeks after stopping the OIT, generally did even better by being able to introduce lightly cooked egg like scrambled, boiled, or fried in addition to baked egg products. This benefit to the diet seemed to last up to 5 years after stopping egg oral immunotherapy. In addition to the safety, quality of life and nutrition benefits, recent data suggesting that bringing baked egg into the diet can speed up outgrowing the allergy provides a further benefit. Continue reading

Marked Increase in Infected Heart Valves Due to Injected Opioids Interview with:

Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Schranz

Asher Schranz, MD
Division of Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine
UNC School of Medicine What is the background for this study?

Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C.

Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing.

Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations.  Continue reading