Anaphylaxis overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1], Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Dushka Riaz, MD


Anaphylaxis is an acute systemic Type I Hypersensitivity allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis occurs when a person is exposed to a trigger allergen that they have been previously sensitized to. Anaphylaxis can occur through ingestion, skin contact or injection. [1] The allergen causes a release of mast cells into the circulation. [2] It is marked by life threatening compromise of airway, breathing and circulation. [3] Common causes in children are usually food whereas in adults it is usually linked to medications and insect stings. [4] The mainstay of prevention is to avoid the allergen. [1] The mainstay of treatment is epinephrine. [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 LoVerde D, Iweala OI, Eginli A, Krishnaswamy G (2018). "Anaphylaxis". Chest. 153 (2): 528–543. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.07.033. PMC 6026262. PMID 28800865.
  2. Yu JE, Lin RY (2018). "The Epidemiology of Anaphylaxis". Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 54 (3): 366–374. doi:10.1007/s12016-015-8503-x. PMID 26357949.
  3. Reber LL, Hernandez JD, Galli SJ (2017). "The pathophysiology of anaphylaxis". J Allergy Clin Immunol. 140 (2): 335–348. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2017.06.003. PMC 5657389. PMID 28780941.
  4. Commins SP (2017). "Outpatient Emergencies: Anaphylaxis". Med Clin North Am. 101 (3): 521–536. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2016.12.003. PMC 5381731. PMID 28372711.
  5. Schmoldt A, Benthe HF, Haberland G (1975). "Digitoxin metabolism by rat liver microsomes". Biochem Pharmacol. 24 (17): 1639–41. PMID 10.1542/peds.2016-4006 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-4006 Check |pmid= value (help).

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