Clin Surg | Volume 2, Issue 1 | Case Series | Open Access

Impact of Newly Emerging Alpha-Gal Allergies on Cardiac Surgery: A Case Series

Kristen A Sell-Dottin1, Michael Sola2 and Thomas G Caranasos1*

1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
2Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

*Correspondance to: Thomas G Caranasos 

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Abstract

The influence of alpha-gal allergies on cardiothoracic surgery is largely unknown. Allergic responses to galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose, or “alpha-gal”, are due to antibodies against non-primate mammalian proteins and are mediated by IgE. This allergy has only recently been discovered and is increasingly prevalent, upwards of 20%-25% of the general population in the southeast United States is sensitized to alpha-gal. Due to the exposure of patients to significant amounts of alpha-gal containing heparin during the course of cardiopulmonary bypass, this allergy may have significant implications for patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We provide a four case series from a single institution detailing successful cardiac surgery in four patients with known alpha gal allergies. These cases demonstrate that pre-treatment with diphenhydramine and steroids may help attenuate serious allergic reactions and allow cardiac surgery to be performed more safely.

Citation:

Sell-Dottin KA, Sola M, Caranasos TG. Impact of Newly Emerging Alpha-Gal Allergies on Cardiac Surgery: A Case Series. Clin Surg. 2017; 2: 1477.

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