Anaphylaxis caused by intravenous fluorescein: clinical characteristics and review of literature

Intern Emerg Med. 2014 Apr;9(3):325-30. doi: 10.1007/s11739-013-1019-6. Epub 2013 Nov 30.


Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially fatal, systemic allergic reaction that suddenly occurs after contact with an allergy-causing substance. The aims of this study were to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients who were diagnosed with anaphylaxis to fluorescein. The medical records of patients with anaphylaxis to intravenous fluorescein angiography (IVFA) admitted to the emergency department between January 2010 and June 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Among 12,005 times of IVFA, a total of 10 patients (0.083 %) were included in this study. The mean age was 58.3 years, and 50.0 % were men. The most common presentation was hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg) (70 %) followed by nausea and vomiting (60 %). Especially, patients with diabetes were more prone to develop hypotension and most hypotensive events occurred in less than 3 min. All of our patients recovered without sequelae and mortality following prompt and proper intervention. Although the incidence is low, anaphylaxis due to intravenous fluorescein can occur during IVFA. Physicians should be aware of this possible complication, and be prepared to treat it.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced*
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / administration & dosage
  • Fluorescein / adverse effects*
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Fluorescein