Anaphylaxis is an acute, potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction that is most often IgE mediated and can involve multiple organ systems. Diagnosis is based on the clinical presentation, but testing of tryptase, histamine, and other inflammatory markers can support the diagnosis. Newer laboratory tests that may assist in diagnosis include flow cytometry tests for expression of CD63 and CD203, markers of basophil activation. Referral to an allergist for allergen testing is recommended. Individuals with mastocytosis appear to be at increased risk for anaphylaxis; this should be considered when evaluating patients with possible anaphylaxis.

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Content Review: 
February 2018

Last Update: October 2019