This study was to determine the characteristics of missed diagnosis of pediatric anaphylaxis that were registered as urticaria only at the emergency department (ED) by comparing those who had only urticaria symptoms with those who had both anaphylaxis and urticaria symptoms.
Subjects were classified into missed anaphylaxis and urticaria group according to whether satisfied anaphylaxis diagnostic criteria or not. Anaphylaxis group, those who were initially registered as anaphylaxis with urticaria and anaphylaxis symptoms simultaneously, were further investigated.
The missed anaphylaxis group included 37 patients of 1051 pediatric urticaria patients. The anaphylaxis group included 11 patients. The time from symptom onset to ED arrival in the missed anaphylaxis group was shorter than the urticaria group. More patients in the missed anaphylaxis group had a history of past food allergy. Seafood, egg, and milk were more common causes of allergy in the missed anaphylaxis group; however, idiopathic causes were more common in the urticaria group. Symptom was more severe in the missed anaphylaxis group than the urticaria group. More treatments except antihistamine were performed at ED in the missed anaphylaxis group. Cardiovascular symptoms were more common in the anaphylaxis group than the missed anaphylaxis group.
Of all pediatric urticaria patients, 3.5% of patients were not registered as anaphylaxis although they had anaphylaxis symptoms. Missed diagnosis of anaphylaxis in pediatric urticaria patients at ED was associated with a history of past food allergy, milk, egg, and seafood as causes of allergy, treated with fluid administration, steroid, and epinephrine.