Practical guidelines for the response to perioperative anaphylaxis

The Working Group for the Preparation of Practical Guidelines for the Response to Anaphylaxis, Safety Committee of the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Perioperative anaphylaxis is a severe adverse event during anesthesia that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment by physicians, including anesthesiologists. Muscle relaxants and antibiotics are the most common drugs that cause perioperative anaphylaxis in Japan, as in many countries. In addition, sugammadex appears to be a primary causative agent. Obtaining previous anesthesia records is necessary in a patient with a history of allergic reactions during anesthesia, whenever possible, to avoid recurrence of anaphylaxis. Although medical staff are likely to notice abnormal vital signs because of complete monitoring during anesthesia, surgical drapes make it difficult to notice the appearance of skin symptoms. Even if there are no skin symptoms, anaphylaxis should be suspected, especially when hypotension resistant to inotropes and vasopressors persists. For improving the diagnostic accuracy of anaphylaxis, it is helpful to collect blood samples to measure histamine/tryptase concentrations immediately after the events and at baseline. The first-line treatment for anaphylaxis is adrenaline. In the perioperative setting, adrenaline should be administered through the intravenous route, which has a faster effect onset and is secured in most cases. Adrenaline can cause serious complications including severe arrhythmias if the appropriate dose is not selected according to the severity of symptoms. The anesthesiologist should identify the causative agent after adverse events. The gold standard for identifying the causative agent is the skin test, but in vitro tests including specific IgE antibody measurements and basophil activation tests are also beneficial. The Working Group of the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists has developed this practical guide to help appropriate prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, and postoperative diagnosis of anaphylaxis during anesthesia. Grade of recommendations and levels of evidence Anaphylaxis is a relatively rare condition with few controlled trials, and thus a so-called evidence-based scrutiny is difficult. Therefore, rather than showing evidence levels and indicating the level of recommendation, this practical guideline only describes the results of research available to date. The JSA will continue to investigate anaphylaxis during anesthesia, and the results may lead to an amendment of this practical guideline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-793
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Anesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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