Publication Date



The Texas Heart Institute Journal





Publication Date(s)

January 2023





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version

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Humans, Male, Adult, Middle Aged, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Diclofenac, Kounis Syndrome, Electrocardiography, Coronary Angiography


BACKGROUND: Diclofenac is a widely used analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic drug. In several case reports, its use was associated with the occurrence of Kounis syndrome. The aim of this review was to investigate and summarize published cases of Kounis syndrome suspected to be associated with the use of diclofenac.

METHODS: Electronic searches were conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and the Serbian Citation Index.

RESULTS: Twenty publications describing the 20 patients who met inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review. Specified patient ages ranged from 34 to 81 years. Eighteen (90.0%) patients were male. Five patients (25.0%) reported a previous reaction to diclofenac. Reported time from the used dose of diclofenac to onset of the first reaction symptoms ranged from immediately to 5 hours. Diclofenac caused both type I and type II Kounis syndrome, with the presence of various cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and respiratory signs and symptoms. Most patients experienced hypotension (n = 15 [75.0%]) and chest pain (n = 12 [60.0%]). The most frequently reported finding on electrocardiogram was ST-segment elevations (n = 17 [85.0%]). Coronary angiogram showed normal coronary vessels in 9 patients (45.0%), with some pathologic findings in 8 patients (40.0%).

CONCLUSION: Clinicians should be aware that Kounis syndrome may be an adverse effect of diclofenac. Prompt recognition and withdrawal of the drug, with treatment of both allergic and cardiac symptoms simultaneously, is important.



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