Venom Immunotherapy in High-Risk Patients: The Advantage of the Rush Build-Up Protocol

Yossi Rosman*, Ronit Confino-Cohen, Arnon Goldberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is considered to be the gold standard treatment for patients with hymenoptera venom allergy. This treatment induces systemic reactions (SR) in a significant number of patients. Objective: To evaluate the outcome of VIT in patients with known risk factors for VIT-induced SR and to compare rush VIT (RVIT) and conventional VIT (CVIT). Methods: All of the patients who received VIT and had at least one of the following risk factors were included: Current cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled asthma, high basal serum tryptase, current treatment with β-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and age >70 or <5 years. Results: Sixty-four patients were included, and most of them (52; 81.5%) were allergic exclusively to bee venom. Thirty-five (54.7%) patients underwent RVIT and 29 CVIT. The incidence of patients who developed SR during the build-up phase was similar for RVIT and CVIT (25.7 and 27.5%, respectively; p = 1). However, the incidence of SR per injection was significantly higher in CVIT than in RVIT (5.6 and 2.75%, respectively; p = 0.01). Most reactions (79.1%) were mild, limited to the skin. Most of the patients (92.1%) reached the full maintenance dose of 100 μg. This dose was reached by a significantly larger number of patients receiving RVIT compared to CVIT (100 and 82.7%, respectively; p = 0.01). None of the patients experienced exacerbation of their concurrent chronic disease during VIT. Conclusion: VIT can be performed safely and efficiently in patients with risk factors for immunotherapy. In these patients RVIT appears to be safer and more efficient than CVIT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


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