Hypersensitivity Reactions to Monoclonal Antibodies in Children

Francesca Mori, Francesca Saretta, Annamaria Bianchi, Giuseppe Crisafulli, Silvia Caimmi, Lucia Liotti, Paolo Bottau, Fabrizio Franceschini, Claudia Paglialunga, Giampaolo Ricci, Angelica Santoro, Carlo Caffarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biologic drugs are widely used in pediatric medicine. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in particular are a therapeutic option for rheumatic, autoinflammatory and oncologic diseases. Adverse drug reactions and hypersensitivity reactions (HSR) to mAbs may occur in children. Clinical presentation of HSRs to mAbs can be classified according to phenotypes in infusion-related reactions, cytokine release syndrome, both alpha type reactions and type I (IgE/non-IgE), type III, and type IV reactions, all beta-type reactions. The aim of this review is to focus on HSRs associated with the most frequent mAbs in childhood, with particular attention to beta-type reactions. When a reaction to mAbs is suspected a diagnostic work-up including in-vivo and in-vitro testing should be performed. A drug provocation test is recommended only when no alternative drugs are available. In selected patients with immediate IgE-mediated drug allergy a desensitization protocol is indicated. Despite the heavy use of mAbs in childhood, studies evaluating the reliability of diagnostic test are lacking. Although desensitization may be effective in reducing the risk of reactions in children, standardized pediatric protocols are still not available.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 12 2020


  • biologic drug
  • challenge
  • desensitization
  • drug allergy
  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • prick test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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