Refractory anaphylactoid shock potentiated by beta-blockers



Allergic reactions, including anaphylactoid shock due to contrast material, are not uncommon. However, persistent anaphylactoid shock refractory to conventional therapy is rare. We present a case of refractory anaphylactoid shock during coronary angiography unresponsive to aggressive standard therapy in a patient on beta-blockers. Significant clinical improvement was noted upon administration of glucagon. Since beta-blockers are commonly used in patients with coronary artery disease, this potentially life-threatening complication has to be kept in mind with any procedure involving contrast media in patients on beta-blockers. Immediate access to glucagon by keeping it in the procedure room may be lifesaving in these situations. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.