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Risk of True Allergy to Local Anesthetics: 10-Year Experience from an Anesthesia Allergy Clinic in China

Authors Zuo J, Gong R, Liu X, Zhao J

Received 14 September 2020

Accepted for publication 30 November 2020

Published 29 December 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1297—1303


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Jun Zuo,1,2 Ruisong Gong,1,2 Xiaowen Liu,2 Jing Zhao1,2

1Graduate School of Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anesthesiology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Jing Zhao
Department of Anesthesiology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, No. 2 Yinghua East Road, Beijing 100029, People’s Republic of China

Background: Local anesthetics (LAs) have been widely used throughout the healthcare settings, especially in local anesthesia and pain management. The incidence of allergic reactions to LAs remains uncertain. The danger of allergic reactions to the use of LAs in every day of clinical practice is a matter of great concern. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the risk of true allergy to LAs.
Methods: This study retrospectively evaluated the medical records of patients who were referred to an anesthesia allergy clinic in China and underwent allergy tests with LAs over a 10-year period from 2009 to 2019. The following information was collected from medical records: demographics of the patients, reasons for referral, clinical features of drug hypersensitivity reaction (DHR), and test results with LAs. Skin tests combined with an in vitro method, basophil activation test (BAT), were used to investigate allergic reactions to LAs.
Results: A group of 109 patients were included in the analysis. The main reason for referral was the presence of a suspected DHR after procedures with LAs (n=68, 62%), the second most common reason for referral was a history of DHR to other drugs and the need to use LAs for upcoming procedures (n=41, 38%). Of the 68 patients with a suspected DHR to LAs, only six cases presented true allergy and showed positive results in skin tests and/or BAT. And all 41 patients who had a history of DHR to other drugs presented negative in all tests.
Conclusion: Risk of true allergy to LAs may be very low. However, patients with a suspected history of DHR to LAs should be considered for allergy tests. Skin tests and BAT may be useful in the investigation and diagnosis of true allergy to LAs in clinical practice.

Keywords: adverse drug reactions, local anesthetics, allergy, skin tests, BAT

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