BACKGROUND Pediatric perioperative hypersensitivity reactions are rare, and possibly life-threatening. Identification of precise etiology is crucial to circumvent future re-exposures.
AIMS We aim to evaluate the clinical features and triggers of perioperative hypersensitivity reactions in children, and determine the outcomes of subsequent general anesthesia.
METHODS A retrospective study was performed with patients who underwent skin testing for general anesthesia between 2007 and 2019. We noted demographic features and skin tests (neuromuscular blocking agents, induction agents, and antibiotics). We also recorded specific Immunoglobulin Es or provocation results of drugs or substances (latex, chlorhexidine, and ethylene oxide) that patients were exposed to antecedent to the reaction. Telephone interviews were performed to determine the current status of the participants and reconsider subsequent anesthesia.
RESULTS We enrolled 50 children (58% male) with a suspected perioperative hypersensitivity reaction. The median age was 6.67 (4.4-11.5) years, and the median time between the reaction, and skin tests was 4 (1-36) months. The most common potential causative agents were neuromuscular blocking agents (n=8), midazolam (n=3), ketamine (n=2), and propofol (n=1). Three children exhibited hypersensitivity to more than one general anesthetics, and three patients were allergic to latex. Thirty-one patients received subsequent anesthesia, and only one patient had a hypersensitivity reaction. A previous history multiple of general anesthesia administration (≥ 2) increased the risk of reaction to neuromuscular blocking agents.
CONCLUSION Data on perioperative hypersensitivity reactions during childhood is rare due to limited diagnostic procedures. Different preference of general anesthetics may change the causative agent. Meticulous evaluation is necessary to safely administer subsequent anesthesia.