Children’s Doctor News and Updates: Summer 2017

Published on in Children's Doctor

New recommendation: Feed peanuts early

Jonathan Spergel, MD, PhD, Allergy Section Chief at CHOP, participated on the expert panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that issued new guidelines to prevent peanut allergy.

The recommendations to introduce age-appropriate peanut-containing foods at 4 to 6 months are tailored to 3 levels of infants’ risk for developing peanut allergy: high risk (infants who have severe eczema, egg allergy, or both); moderate risk (mild or moderate eczema); and low risk (do not have eczema or any food allergy).

“Early is better,” Spergel says. “Avoiding things probably leads to more allergy. The big challenge is a food allergy phobia we will need to help parents get over so they will let their kids eat foods with peanuts.”

Remind parents: All babies should try other solid foods before peanut-containing ones. And infants and small children should never be given whole peanuts due to the risk of choking.

CHOP named Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence

Children’s Hospital, under the leadership of Eric Marsh, MD, Director of the Neurogenetics Program, has been designated a Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence by Rettsyndrome.org.

“It’s an honor to be chosen, and it shows that we’re doing good work,” says Marsh. “There is a lot of research activity going on that we hope to be a part of into the future to really see a change for the care of these girls and kids with related diseases, too.”

New video: Hyperhidrosis surgery

In this video, clinicians explain how surgery works to treat the underlying cause of excessive sweating, and how it can help patients who don’t have success with nonsurgical treatment options. You’ll also meet several patients who suffered from hyperhidrosis and underwent surgery.

22q facial recognition tool helps diagnose 22q syndrome

Genetics experts at CHOP collaborated with researchers at the National Institutes of Health in developing facial recognition software to help healthcare providers worldwide in diagnosing the genetic condition 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Because 22q11.2 DS affects multiple systems, early diagnosis allows clinicians to provide appropriate care and genetic counseling.

Elaine H. Zackai, MD, Director of Clinical Genetics, and Donna McDonald-McGinn, MS, LCGC, Associate Director of Clinical Genetics, director of CHOP’s 22q and You Center, were co-authors of a paper published online in the American Journal of Medical Genetics that presents varied findings from global populations with 22q11.2 DS and demonstrates how facial analysis technology can assist clinicians in making accurate 22q11.2 DS diagnoses. The 22q and You Center provided the majority of materials needed to complete the new study.

Study shows headache more common stroke symptom in children

Children are far more likely than adults to report headache at the onset of ischemic stroke, a CHOP study found. Therefore stroke should be considered as a possible diagnosis in any child with a headache and additional symptoms of weakness or numbness (in the face, arm, or leg) or changes in walking, talking, or vision, according to Lori Billinghurst, MD, MSc, a CHOP pediatric neurologist who presented on this study at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Stroke affects 1 in 4,000 newborns and 2 to 13 in 100,000 children under 18 years of age.

In the study, headaches were present in nearly half of all children older than 3 years of age having a stroke. “Urgent brain imaging may be required to distinguish a migraine with aura from a stroke,” says Billinghurst.

U.S. News names CHOP’s Pediatrics Department best in U.S. for 5th straight year

U.S. News & World Report has recognized the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as the leading department of pediatrics in the United States. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the department has achieved the top ranking.

“This ranking is a reflection of the impressive talent among our faculty, trainees, and staff and the tremendous support from the Hospital in creating a remarkable environment for clinical and academic work,” said Joseph St. Geme, MD, Physician-in-chief and Chair, Department of Pediatrics.


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