BackgroundThe European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is in the process of updating the guidelines on the diagnosis and management of food allergy. The existing guidelines are based on a systematic review of the literature until 30 September 2012. Therefore, a new systematic review must be undertaken to inform the new guidelines. This systematic review aims to assess the accuracy of index tests to support the diagnosis of IgE-mediated food allergy.
MethodsThe databases Cochrane CENTRAL (Trials), MEDLINE (OVID) and Embase (OVID) will be searched for diagnostic test accuracy studies from 1 October 2012 to 30 June 2021. Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used to select appropriate studies. Data from these studies will be extracted and tabulated, and then reviewed for risk of bias and applicability using the QUADAS-2 tool. All evaluations will be done in duplicate. Studies with a high risk of bias and low applicability will be excluded. Meta-analysis will be performed if there are three or more studies of the same index test and food.
ResultsA protocol for the systematic review and meta-analyses is presented and was registered using Prospero prior to commencing the literature search.
DiscussionOral food challenges are the reference standard for diagnosis but involve considerable risks and resources. This protocol for systematic review aims to assess the accuracy of various tests to diagnose food allergy, which can be useful in both clinical and research settings.