Real allergy to local anesthetic (LA) is very rare. This study was performed to report a case of anaphylaxis to multiple “caine.” A 25-years-old atopic nurse developed a very severe anaphylactic reaction on her third infiltration for low back pain with bupivacaine, lidocaine, and methylprednisolone: she developed a vagal reaction, followed during the next 30 minutes by a pruriginous skin rash, followed by a tongue edema and a severe bronchospasm. Adrenalin was injected with a poor response. She was intubated and transferred to the intensive care unit for a few days and, finally, she recuperated completely. Skin-prick tests were done on two occasions. In the first session, no reactions were observed with triamcinolone and methylprednisolone at 1 mg/cc, but a rapid extending maculopapular erythema developed with a final diameter of 50 mm with lidocaine 0.1% (group 2) and 25 mm with procaine 2% (group 1): control 0 mm, histamine, 3 mm. She also complained of itchiness in the neck and shoulder, which resolved in the next 90 minutes. In the second session, a test with bupivacaine 0.0005% (group 2) gave a papule with a diameter of >5 mm, and a test with mepivacaine 0.001% (group 2) was negative: control, histamine, 3 mm; no subsequent tests with mepivacaine were done because she developed a cough and throat pruritus, voice modification, and a sensation of throat narrowing, that resolved with treatment. We reported a case of anaphylaxis to multiple LA (groups 1 and 2), possibly via an IgE-mediated mechanism.
From the Adjoint de Clinique, Université de Montréal, CHUM, Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montréal, Cité de la Santé de Laval, Canada
Publication date: September 1, 2007
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