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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Latex allergy: an update for the otolaryngologist.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical manifestations of latex allergy in otolaryngology patients. DESIGN: Descriptive case series. SETTING: Tertiary academic otolaryngology practice. PATIENTS: Otolaryngology patients with documented allergic reactions to latex during surgery and confirmatory laboratory test results for latex allergy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical description of latex reactions; identification of risk factors for latex allergy. RESULTS: We describe 3 patients, 2 children and 1 young adult, with severe latex allergy manifested by intraoperative cardiorespiratory changes and confirmed by positive latex-specific IgE test results. A 9-year-old boy with a tracheotomy and a history of multiple procedures for laryngeal stenosis developed a rash and unexplained bronchospasm during an open laryngeal procedure. Surgery was aborted, and subsequent surgery was performed uneventfully 4 weeks later using a latex-safe environment. A 13-year-old boy with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt had sudden unexplained arterial oxygen desaturation and a rash during laser endoscopy. He was then treated successfully using latex-safe protocols. A 23-year-old man with a parotid malignancy developed unexplained hypotension and ventilatory difficulties in the operating room during preparation for surgery. He responded to medical treatment for anaphylaxis. CONCLUSION: The otolaryngologist should share in the increased awareness of latex allergy. Our patients who have had multiple surgical procedures or who are exposed to latex on a long-term basis may be at increased risk. Latex allergy should be considered when unexplained cardiorespiratory compromise occurs during surgery.[1]


  1. Latex allergy: an update for the otolaryngologist. Kashima, M.L., Tunkel, D.E., Cummings, C.W. Arch. Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. (2001) [Pubmed]
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