Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactoid Reactions

  • Judith A. Fisher


Anaphylactic reactions are systemic allergic reactions that are usually immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated. They may also be activated by IgA or the complement cascade. Anaphylactoid reactions are nonimmunologically triggered reactions, yet they present the same clinical syndromes. Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions are life-threatening conditions caused by the release of vasoactive amines through the degranulation of mast cells and basophils. Both reactions occur within seconds to minutes or hours after exposure to a trigger. Anaphylactic reactions were first described in dogs in 1902 by Portier and Richet. The first human cases were seen during the preantibiotic era just prior to World War II with the use of horse serum in severe infections.1 Today in the United States the incidence of anaphylaxis is thought to be 1/3000 patients with a mortality of more than 500 patients per year.2


Anaphylactic Reaction Anaphylactoid Reaction Systemic Mastocytosis Latex Allergy Insect Sting 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Judith A. Fisher

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