Anaphylaxis laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1], Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Dushka Riaz, MD


Laboratory findings consistent with the diagnosis of anaphylaxis can include elevated tryptase and histamine. However, these are not diagnostic. [1] [2]

Laboratory Findings

Some patients with anaphylaxis may have elevated levels of tryptase and histamine, however, patients should still be treated in the absence of these findings. Therefore, anaphylaxis is generally considered a clinical diagnosis. [3] When mast cells and basophils degranulate, they release tryptase and cause an increase in the levels which can last for six hours. Plasma histamine levels also rise after anaphylaxis but usually resolve in an hour. Because these elevations are not universal, currently there is research being conducted on platelet-activating factor and carboxypeptidase A3 that more accurately correlate with the condition. [4] [5] [6]


  1. Martelli A, Ghiglioni D, Sarratud T, Calcinai E, Veehof S, Terracciano L; et al. (2008). "Anaphylaxis in the emergency department: a paediatric perspective". Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 8 (4): 321–9. doi:10.1097/ACI.0b013e328307a067. PMID 18596589.
  2. Tupper J, Visser S (2010). "Anaphylaxis: A review and update". Can Fam Physician. 56 (10): 1009–11. PMC 2954079. PMID 20944042.
  3. Schmoldt A, Benthe HF, Haberland G (1975). "Digitoxin metabolism by rat liver microsomes". Biochem Pharmacol. 24 (17): 1639–41. PMID DOI: Check |pmid= value (help).
  4. LoVerde D, Iweala OI, Eginli A, Krishnaswamy G (2018). "Anaphylaxis". Chest. 153 (2): 528–543. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.07.033. PMC 6026262. PMID 28800865.
  5. Vitte J (2015). "Human mast cell tryptase in biology and medicine". Mol Immunol. 63 (1): 18–24. doi:10.1016/j.molimm.2014.04.001. PMID 24793463.
  6. Vadas P, Gold M, Perelman B, Liss GM, Lack G, Blyth T; et al. (2008). "Platelet-activating factor, PAF acetylhydrolase, and severe anaphylaxis". N Engl J Med. 358 (1): 28–35. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa070030. PMID 18172172.

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