immediate hypersensitivity reaction
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an exaggerated immune response mediated by mast cell-bound IgE antibodies occurring within minutes after exposing a sensitized individual to the approximate antigen; also called Type I hypersensitivity. Clinical symptoms result from the physiologic effects of preformed or newly generated mediators, including histamine, platelet activating factor, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, bradykinin, tachykinins, and others. The reaction may be localized to specific organ systems or be generalized, leading to anaphylaxis. Symptoms include pruritus, urticaria, angioedema, conjunctivitis, sneezing, rhinorrhea, bronchospasm, hypotension, arrhythmias, and shock. See: allergy.