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Chapter 21: Urticaria and angioedema.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22794694     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Urticaria, also known as hives, may affect up to 20% of the population at some time in their lives. Urticaria is characterized by extreme pruritus and described as erythematous, raised, circumscribed lesions with central pallor that blanch with pressure. The pathogenesis of urticaria involves mast cell activation, with subsequent release of histamine and other vasoactive mediators, leading to increased vascular permeability of postcapillary venules and development of edema, erythema, and pruritus. Urticaria is closely associated with angioedema in 40% of individuals; ∼10% of patients experience angioedema without urticaria. Urticarial lesions often are generalized with multiple lesions in no specific distribution; angioedema tends to be localized, commonly affecting the face (periorbital and perioral regions), tongue, uvula, soft palate or larynx, extremities, and genitalia. Urticaria is subdivided into acute and chronic urticaria based on duration of symptoms. Acute urticaria lasts <6 weeks and an identifiable cause may be discovered such as food products, medications (aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics), or insect stings. Urticaria lasting >6 weeks is designated as chronic urticaria, and an etiology is seldom identified and thus considered idiopathic. Chronic urticaria may have an autoimmune basis. There is a well-documented association between autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's disease) and urticaria and angioedema with higher incidence of antithyroid (antithyroglobulin and antiperoxidase) antibodies in these usually euthyroid patients. Furthermore, studies have revealed a circulating IgG antibody directed against the IgE receptor (F(Cε)RIα) or IgE in 40-60% of patients with chronic urticaria. Histamine 1-receptor antagonists (antihistamines) are initial therapy.
Tara F Carr; Carol A Saltoun
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Allergy and asthma proceedings : the official journal of regional and state allergy societies     Volume:  33 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1539-6304     ISO Abbreviation:  Allergy Asthma Proc     Publication Date:    2012 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-07-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9603640     Medline TA:  Allergy Asthma Proc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  70-2     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Allergy-Immunology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
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From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Chapter 20: Atopic dermatitis.
Next Document:  Chapter 22: Hereditary and acquired angioedema.