Biphasic systemic anaphylaxis: an inpatient and outpatient study

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Jun;93(6):977-85. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(94)70044-3.


We attempted to ascertain the incidence of systemic biphasic anaphylactic reactions in both outpatients and inpatients. Madigan Army Medical Center is a large teaching facility. The Allergy Clinic staff sees approximately 20,000 patients per year, and an average of 27,000 allergy immunotherapy injections are administered each year. During the years 1988 to 1991 we collected data from a total of 35 patients who had experienced, during the 30-minute waiting period in the clinic, symptoms and signs consistent with anaphylaxis. A total of 44 anaphylactic reactions were noted, with only two (5%) involving a biphasic systemic pattern. All patients were observed and treated within the clinic until symptoms and signs had resolved. None of the patients were treated with or were presently using glucocorticosteroids during the time of their reactions. Of the reactions noted, 25 (57%) involved only cutaneous manifestations of anaphylaxis, three (7%) involved the laryngeal/upper airway area, eight (18%) involved bronchospasm alone, three (7%) involved the rhinoconjunctivae, and five (11%) involved more than one site or type. None of the patients experienced any symptoms or signs of cardiovascular compromise or collapse after allergy extract injections. During the years 1986 to 1992 a total of 59 patients were admitted to the medical ward or intensive care unit with the diagnosis of systemic anaphylaxis. Of 59 patients, four (7%) experienced a recurrent (biphasic) anaphylactic reaction without reexposure to the initial inciting agent. The remaining 55 patients (93%) did not experience any further systemic anaphylaxis after initial hospital admission and treatment. Two of the patients with biphasic anaphylaxis were first seen with hypotension and generalized urticaria.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anaphylaxis / drug therapy
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology
  • Anaphylaxis / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence