[Anaphylaxis to Blue Dyes]

Rev Med Suisse. 2014 Apr 16;10(426):876-80.
[Article in French]


In medicine, vital blue dyes are mainly used for the evaluation of sentinel lymph nodes in oncologic surgery. Perioperative anaphylaxis to blue dyes is a rare but significant complication. Allergic reactions to blue dyes are supposedly IgE-mediated and mainly caused by triarylmethanes (patent blue and isosulfane blue) and less frequently by methylene blue. These substances usually do not feature on the anesthesia record and should not be omitted from the list of suspects having caused the perioperative reaction, in the same manner as latex and chlorhexidine. The diagnosis of hypersensitivity to vital blue dyes can be established by skin test. We illustrate this topic with three clinical cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced*
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Coloring Agents / adverse effects*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Methylene Blue / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Rosaniline Dyes / adverse effects
  • Skin Tests / methods


  • Coloring Agents
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • iso-sulfan blue
  • sulfan blue
  • Methylene Blue