A current review of idiopathic anaphylaxis

Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Aug;3(4):305-11. doi: 10.1097/00130832-200308000-00012.


Purpose of review: Idiopathic anaphylaxis is a well established entity that can lead to unnecessary morbidity and costs if not diagnosed and managed properly. To ensure that more patients benefit from proper care, the medical community needs to be better informed of this rare disease.

Recent findings: The classification and treatment of idiopathic anaphylaxis have been fine-tuned over the past 25 years without knowledge of the disease's underlying mechanism, despite much research dedicated towards this end. The observation that idiopathic anaphylaxis is a steroid-responsive disease has led to a more recent view that its underlying mechanism may be autoimmune in nature.

Summary: Although the underlying pathogenesis of idiopathic anaphylaxis remains unknown, thousands of patients in the United States have been successfully treated with the currently recommended regimen of steroids and antihistamines. If diagnosed and treated properly, approximately 85% of patients will have a sustained remission after being tapered off corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis* / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis* / etiology
  • Anaphylaxis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E


  • Immunoglobulin E