J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2010 Jun;8(1):30-36.

Predictors of Anaphylactic Shock in Patients with Anaphylaxis after Exposure to Bee Venom

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea. stachy1@paran.com
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea.


The purpose
of this study is to analyze the clinical characteristics of anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock caused by bee venom.
We retrospectively collected the data of the patients who experienced anaphylaxis caused by natural bee sting or acupuncture using bee venom from January 1999 to December 2008. Seventy subjects were divided into the shock and non-shock groups. The clinical characteristics, sources of bee venom, treatments and outcomes were compared between the two groups.
The mean age of the subjects was 45.5 +/- 16.3 years old and the number of males was 44 (62.9%). There were 25 patients in the shock group and 45 in the non-shock group. The age was older (P=0.001) and females (P=0.003) were more frequent in the shock group. Transportation to the hospital via ambulance was more frequent in the shock group (p<0.001). No difference was found in species of bee between the two groups. The cephalic area, including the face, was the most common area of bee venom in both groups. Anaphylaxis caused by bee sting commonly occurred between July and October. Cutaneous and respiratory symptoms were the most frequent symptoms related to anaphylaxis. Cardiovascular and neurologic symptoms were more frequent in the shock group. The amount of intravenously administered fluid and subcutaneous injection of epinephrine were much more in the shock group than that in the non-shock group.
Older age was the factors related to anaphylactic shock caused by bee venom. Further validation is needed to evaluate the gender factor associated with shock.


Bee venoms; Anaphylaxis; Shock
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