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Revision Questions: Allergy and Anaphylaxis (Preview)

Sample Questions

  1. How do anaphylactic reactions occur and what are they mediated by?
  2. Give examples of a range of symptoms in anaphylaxis.
  3. What is the most common cause of death in anaphylaxis?
  4. Name some triggers that can induce reactions.
  5. What is the most common treatment for severe anaphylactic reactions?

Sample Answers

  1. Anaphylaxis reactions are usually mediated by IgE. The allergen binds to IgE and then binds to basophils or mast cells. This leads to the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine and serotonin, causing severe reactions.
  2. Reactions that can occur in anaphylaxis include urticaria, angioedema, gastrointestinal effects such as nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Other reactions can include effects on the airways such as dyspnoea and wheezing.
  3. The most common cause of death from anaphylaxis comes from airways obstruction, particularly in the tongue and larynx or bronchospasm.
  4. Things which can trigger anaphylactic reactions include insect stings, foods (such as peanuts), blood products, latex, food additives (such as metabisulfite) and medications such as NSAIDs and penicillins.
  5. Adrenaline is the primary treatment for anaphylaxis. When used, it counteracts bronchospasm and vasodilation in anaphylactic reactions.

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