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Treatment of Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria and Positive Autologous Serum Skin Test with Cyclosporine: Clinical and Immunological Evaluation

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Abstract:

This study evaluates the effectiveness and safety of cyclosporine (CsA) in the treatment of patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria with a positive autologous serum skin test (ASST), who fail to respond to conventional therapy, and requiring long-term oral steroid treatment. In a double-blind study, 40 adults were assigned randomly to receive CsA (5 mg/kg per day for 8 weeks and then 4 mg/kg per day for 8 weeks) or cetirizine (10 mg/day) and then they were followed up for 9 months. After 2 weeks, the study was opened because 16 patients (40%) had daily severe relapses requiring systemic steroids treatment. All of these patients had been receiving antihistamines and, therefore, all patients also were assigned to the CsA treatment regimen (5 mg/kg per day for 8 weeks and then 4 mg/kg per day for 8 weeks). The ASST and clinical severity score were evaluated before and after treatment. All of the 40 patients completed the 16-week CsA course without dropping out because of relevant side effects. In three patients, CsA was reduced by 0.5 mg/kg per day after the 1st month of treatment for a mild and reversible increase in serum creatinine. During CsA treatment, 20 patients had relapses resolving spontaneously (8 patients) or with antihistamines (12 patients). During the 9-month follow-up period, 22 patients had relapses resolving spontaneously (10 patients) or with antihistamines (12 patients). Only two patients failed to complete the study because of severe symptoms occurring after 4 and 7 days of follow-up and requiring long-term steroid treatment. After 9 months of follow-up, 16 patients were still in full remission. The clinical severity score of chronic idiopathic urticaria dropped significantly by the end of the 4th month of treatment (p = 0.002) as well as by the completion of follow-up (p = 0.007). The ASST was negative in 13 patients and positive in 3 of 16 patients, with total remission of symptoms. Significant score reduction also was observed in patients experiencing relapses that resolved spontaneously (p = 0.005) or with antihistamines (p = 0.03). These results show the long-term efficacy and tolerability of CsA in patients with severe chronic idiopathic urticaria, unresponsive to conventional treatments.

Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: 2003-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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