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Urticaria: Reassessed

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Urticaria is a common symptom—it is not a single disease. Patients present knowing what caused their "hives" or not knowing the cause of their hives. The latter patients present to the physician expecting to find a cause—but it is extremely rare that a single cause is discovered; however, a search for identifiable "triggers" should be sought in the history. Routine laboratory investigations are consistently disappointing (unless appropriate testing is suggested by the history). The term idiopathic can be added only when a single putative cause is not discovered. Fortunately, all urticarias eventually resolve (spontaneously). All treatment is palliative. Antihistamines remain the first-line of therapy, the more H1-receptors blocked, the better the results (the majority of patients with urticaria are "undertreated"). Rarely are steroids warranted for management. A review of the evaluation and management of patients with persistent urticaria without an identifiable cause is presented.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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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