Local anesthetics (LAs) have been widely used throughout the healthcare settings, especially in local anesthesia and pain management. The incidence of allergic reactions to LAs remains uncertain. The danger of allergic reactions to the use of LAs in every day of clinical practice is a matter of great concern. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the risk of true allergy to LAs.
This study retrospectively evaluated the medical records of patients who were referred to an anesthesia allergy clinic in China and underwent allergy tests with LAs over a 10-year period from 2009 to 2019. The following information was collected from medical records: demographics of the patients, reasons for referral, clinical features of drug hypersensitivity reaction (DHR), and test results with LAs. Skin tests combined with an in vitro method, basophil activation test (BAT), were used to investigate allergic reactions to LAs.
A group of 109 patients were included in the analysis. The main reason for referral was the presence of a suspected DHR after procedures with LAs (n=68, 62%), the second most common reason for referral was a history of DHR to other drugs and the need to use LAs for upcoming procedures (n=41, 38%). Of the 68 patients with a suspected DHR to LAs, only six cases presented true allergy and showed positive results in skin tests and/or BAT. And all 41 patients who had a history of DHR to other drugs presented negative in all tests.