Pathophysiology

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening, multisystem condition caused by the release of IGE, histamine, and other mast cell/basophil mediators in response to a stimulus. This results in numerous physiological effects, including vasodilation, increased vascular permeability, bronchoconstriction, bronchial edema, and cardiac depression.  These effects are mediated by a myriad of biochemical molecules, including nitric oxide, bradykinins, interleukins, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins.  Insect bites, food allergens, and medications are the most common offending agents; however, any agent can evoke anaphylactic shock in a susceptible individual.

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