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Review
. 2014 Apr;47(4):309-13.
doi: 10.1111/iej.12152. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Brain Injury Due to Anaphylactic Shock: Broadening Manifestations of Kounis Syndrome

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Review

Brain Injury Due to Anaphylactic Shock: Broadening Manifestations of Kounis Syndrome

G D Soufras et al. Int Endod J. .

Abstract

Anaphylactic shock is a real and life threatening medical emergency which is encountered in every field of medicine. The coronary arteries seem to be the primary target of anaphylaxis resulting in the development of Kounis syndrome. Kounis syndrome is a pan-arterial anaphylaxis -associated syndrome affecting patients of any age, involving numerous and continuously increasing causes, with broadening clinical manifestations and covering a wide spectrum of mast cell activation disorders. Recently, Kounis-like syndrome affecting the cerebral arteries was found to be associated with mast cell activation disorders. In anaphylactic shock, the decrease of cerebral blood flow is more than what would be expected from severe arterial hypotension. This is attributed to the early and direct action of anaphylactic mediators on cerebral vessels. While adrenaline is a life saving agent in the treatment of anaphylactic shock, it contains sodium betabisulfite as preservative and should be avoided in sulfite allergic patients. Potential allergens encountered in endodotic practice include formocresol, zinc compounds thiurams, sodium dimethyldithiocarbamade, and mercaptobenzothiazole that might have synergistic action. All these agents together with analgesics, antibiotics, antiseptics, formaldehyde, latex, local anaesthetics and metals used in dental practice, in general, can induce anaphylactic shock. Practitioners should be aware of these consequences. A careful history of previous atopy and reactions is of paramount importance for safe and effective management.

Keywords: Kounis syndrome; adrenaline; anaphylaxis; brain injury.

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