[Skip to Navigation]
August 1963

Fatal Anaphylactic Reaction to Sulfobromophthalein

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Meadowbrook Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(2):171-172. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860020069007

Death resulting from the intravenous administration of sulfobromophthalein (SBP) has been reported only five times since it was first used by Rosenthal and White to evaluate liver function in 1925.1,2 Not until 1948, when Chambers and Moister reported a near fatal anaphylactic reaction to this drug, was anything more than mild discomfort attributed to its use.3 In 1956, Bjmebae reported the first fatality. Four other deaths have been documented in the literature since then. Of the total of five deaths, two had no previous history of having received sulfobromophthalein, while three had received it at some time prior to the fatal injection.4,5

This case represents, to the best of our knowledge, the sixth fatal reaction to intravenous SBP dye and the fourth case in which the patient had a previous uncomplicated administration.

Report of Cases  A 49-year-old white man was admitted to Meadowbrook Hospital on Sept 13, 1961, with a chief complaint of weakness and hematemesis. He had been in apparent good health until January, 1961,