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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180

Abstract

RODRIGUES, Janine Moreira et al. Methylene blue for clinical anaphylaxis treatment: a case report. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2007, vol.125, n.1, pp. 60-62. ISSN 1516-3180.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802007000100012.

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Nitric oxide has a pathophysiological role in modulating systemic changes associated with anaphylaxis. Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors may exacerbate bronchospasm in anaphylaxis and worsen clinical conditions, with limited roles in anaphylactic shock treatment. The aim here was to report an anaphylaxis case (not anaphylactic shock), reversed by methylene blue (MB), a guanylyl cyclase inhibitor. CASE REPORT: A 23-year-old female suddenly presented urticaria and pruritus, initially on her face and arms, then over her whole body. Oral antihistamine was administered initially, but without improvement in symptoms and signs until intravenous methylprednisolone 500 mg. Recurrence occurred after two hours, plus vomiting. Associated upper respiratory distress, pulmonary sibilance, laryngeal stridor and facial angioedema (including erythema and lip edema) marked the evolution. At sites with severe pruritus, petechial lesions were observed. The clinical situation worsened, with dyspnea, tachypnea, peroral cyanosis, laryngeal edema with severe expiratory dyspnea and deepening unconsciousness. Conventional treatment was ineffective. Intubation and ventilatory support were then considered, because of severe hypoventilation. But, before doing that, based on our previous experience, 1.5 mg/kg (120 mg) bolus of 4% MB was infused, followed by one hour of continuous infusion of another 120 mg diluted in dextrose 5% in water. Following the initial intravenous MB dose, the clinical situation reversed completely in less than 20 minutes, thereby avoiding tracheal intubation. CONCLUSION: Although the nitric oxide hypothesis for MB effectiveness discussed here remains unproven, our intention was to share our accumulated cohort experience, which strongly suggests MB is a lifesaving treatment for anaphylactic shock and/or anaphylaxis and other vasoplegic conditions.

Keywords : Anaphylaxis; Nitric oxide; Methylene blue; Guanylate cyclase; Cyclic GMP.

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