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Anaphylaxis: Acute diagnosis

Ronna L Campbell, MD, PhD
John M Kelso, MD
Section Editor
Deputy Editor
Anna M Feldweg, MD


Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening, generalized allergic reaction. It can be difficult to recognize because it can mimic other conditions and is variable in its presentation. This topic will review the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, diagnostic criteria, and common causes and contributory factors. Laboratory tests that may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis are also briefly discussed.

The acute treatment of anaphylaxis, pathophysiology, and other related topics are reviewed separately.

(See "Anaphylaxis: Emergency treatment".)

(See "Pathophysiology of anaphylaxis".)

(See "Fatal anaphylaxis".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 25, 2016.
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