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Case Report


Aniseed-Induced Nocturnal Tongue Angioedema


V Gázquez García,1 P Gaig Jané,1 B Bartolomé Zavala2

1Allergy Unit, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, Tarragona, Spain
2R & D Department, Bial-Aristegui, Bilbao, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(6): 406-408



Aniseed is a spice native to the eastern Mediterranean region. Cases of simultaneous hypersensitivity to celery, mugwort pollen, and spices of the Umbelliferae family have been described as the celery–mugwort–spices syndrome. We report a case of aniseed-induced tongue angioedema. Skin prick tests to foods proved positive only to aniseed. Serum-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E determination by enzyme allergosorbent test was 0.4 kU/L to aniseed extract and 0.6 kU/L to tare and cumin seeds. The molecular mass of the IgE-binding proteins studied by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) immunoblotting revealed a broad IgE-binding
band of 12.9-13.7 kd in aniseed and tare extract assays and a broad band of 15-17.5 kd in cumin extract. This is the fi rst case of type I hypersensitivity due to aniseed liqueur ingestion reported. SDS-PAGE immunoblotting study showed a broad specific IgE-binding band of 12.9-13.7 kd when aniseed extract was incubated with the patient’s serum; this band might correspond to the protein responsible for the described symptoms.

Key words: Aniseed. Liqueur. Tongue angioedema.