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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1982 Mar;69(3):283-9.

Effects of infused histamine: correlation of plasma histamine levels and symptoms.


Plasma and urine histamine levels were measured during sequential infusions of histamine (0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 microgram/kg/min histamine base for 30 min each) to determine the plasma level required to elicit flushing, headaches, tachycardia, and diastolic hypotension. Each study was performed with subjects on no medications or after pretreatment with hydroxyzine and/or cimetidine in order to confirm the receptor subtype involved in each of the responses. Resting plasma histamine levels were 0.62 +/- 0.12 ng/ml, and levels rose progressively indirect proportion to the concentration of infused histamine. Plasma levels of histamine required to elicit symptoms were as follows: 1.61 +/- 0.30 ng/ml = 30% increase in heart rate, 2.39 +/- 0.52 ng/ml = significant flush and headache, and 2.45 +/- 0.13 ng/ml = 30% increase in pulse pressure. Cimetidine pretreatment failed to influence the histamine level required to elicit symptoms, hydroxyzine pretreatment significantly raised the level required to increase heart rat by 30%, and the combination of antihistamines significantly raised the threshold for histamine to elicit all the response. Urine histamine was increased in direct proportion to the histamine infusions, and because of stability, accessibility, and the capacity for retrospective diagnosis, urine is the suggested fluid to employ to measure histamine release in humans.

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