DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.13185 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 13185: Getting at the Heart of Allergies: A Case Series on Kounis Syndrome

Anamaria Dragan, Olga Toleva, Alexis Cutchins, Puja K Mehta
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Kounis Syndrome (KS) is a complex medical condition where acute coronary syndrome coincides with allergic reactions. KS presents a unique clinical challenge due to its varied presentation and simultaneous management of an allergic response and a cardiac event. This study aims to further our understanding of this underreported condition to improve outcomes in patients. We demonstrated the intricacies of KS by examining two case studies. In Case 1, a 51-year-old male suffered a myocardial infarction after a wasp sting. Workup revealed elevated tryptase levels and mastocytosis on bone marrow biopsy concerning for mast cell activation syndrome. In Case 2, a 48-year-old female was diagnosed with vasospastic angina exacerbated by exposure to various allergens and associated with elevated histamine levels. Both patients underwent coronary angiography which demonstrated no obstructive coronary artery disease. Functional coronary angiography with acetylcholine provocation confirmed a predisposition for coronary vasospasm. Both patients were treated with anti-anginals and antihistamines. A literature review was performed to describe the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of KS. The underlying pathophysiology includes mast cell degranulation, where the release of inflammatory mediators like histamine and tryptase provokes coronary vasospasm, plaque rupture, and thrombus formation. With prompt recognition and appropriate management, the prognosis of KS is favorable. A greater understanding of KS can support clinicians in delivering quality care for patients. Our cases demonstrate the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion in patients exhibiting an acute allergic reaction with concurrent evidence of cardiac ischemia. While the current literature provides some management guidance, additional research is required to improve our mechanistic understanding, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic strategies.

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