Anaphylaxis in pregnancy: a population-based multinational European study

S.J. McCall* (Corresponding Author), M.-P. Bonnet, O. Äyräs, G. Vandenberghe, M. Gissler, W.-H. Zhang, V. Van Leeuw, C. Deneux-Tharaux, Jennifer J Kurinczuk, Marian Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Anaphylaxis in pregnancy is a rare but severe complication for both mother and infant. Population-based data on anaphylaxis in pregnancy are lacking from mainland European countries. This multinational study presents the incidence, causative agents, management and maternal and infant outcomes of anaphylaxis in pregnancy. This descriptive multinational study used a combination of retrospective (Finnish medical registries) and prospective population-based studies (UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands) to identify cases of anaphylaxis. Sixty-five cases were identified among 4,446,120 maternities (1.5 per 100,000 maternities; 95%CI 1.1–1.9). The incidence did not vary between countries. Approximately three-quarters of reactions occurred at the time of delivery. The most common causes were antibiotics in 27 women (43%), and anaesthetic agents in 11 women (17%; including neuromuscular blocking drugs, 7), which varied between countries. Anaphylaxis had very poor outcomes for one in seven mothers and one in seven babies; the maternal case fatality rate was 3.2% (95%CI 0.4–11.0) and the neonatal encephalopathy rate was 14.3% (95%CI 4.8–30.3). Across Europe, anaphylaxis related to pregnancy is rare despite having a multitude of causative agents and different antibiotic prophylaxis protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1475
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Early online date28 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • anaphylaxis causative agents
  • anaphylaxis in pregnancy
  • anaphylaxis management
  • maternal morbidity
  • neonatal encephalopathy
  • neuromuscular blocking drugs


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