Anaphylaxis pathogenesis and treatment

Allergy. 2011 Jul;66 Suppl 95:31-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2011.02629.x.


Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and sometimes leads to death. Understanding mechanisms, triggers, and patient-specific risk factors for severe or fatal anaphylaxis is critically important. Diagnosis of anaphylaxis is currently based on established clinical criteria. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the first-line medication for anaphylaxis treatment and delay in injecting it contributes to biphasic reactions, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and fatality. Here, we focus on four important areas of translational research in anaphylaxis: studies of potential new biomarkers to support the clinical diagnosis of anaphylaxis, laboratory tests to distinguish allergen sensitization from clinical risk of anaphylaxis, the primary role of epinephrine (adrenaline) in anaphylaxis treatment, and strengthening the overall evidence base for anaphylaxis treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Anaphylaxis / blood
  • Anaphylaxis / drug therapy*
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology*
  • Anaphylaxis / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Biomarkers
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Epinephrine