Acquired cold urticaria: Clinical features, particular phenotypes, and disease course in a tertiary care center cohort

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Abstract

Background:

Data about special phenotypes, natural course, and prognostic variables of patients with acquired cold urticaria (ACU) are scarce.

Objectives:

We sought to describe the clinical features and disease course of patients with ACU, with special attention paid to particular phenotypes, and to examine possible parameters that could predict the evolution of the disease.

Methods:

This study was a retrospective chart review of 74 patients with ACU who visited a tertiary referral center of urticaria between 2005 and 2015.

Results:

Fourteen patients (18.9%) presented with life-threatening reactions after cold exposure, and 21 (28.4%) showed negative results after cold stimulation tests (classified as atypical ACU). Nineteen patients (25.7%) achieved complete symptoms resolution at the end of the surveillance period and had no subsequent recurrences. Higher rates of atypical ACU along with a lower likelihood of achieving complete symptom resolution was observed in patients who had an onset of symptoms during childhood (P < .05). In patients with atypical ACU, shorter disease duration and lower doses of antihistamines required for achieving disease control were detected (P < .05). Age at disease onset, symptom severity, and cold urticaria threshold values were found to be related to disease evolution (P < .05).

Limitations:

This study was limited by its retrospective nature.

Conclusions:

The knowledge of the clinical predictors of the disease evolution along with the clinical features of ACU phenotypes would allow for the establishment of an early and proper therapeutic strategy.

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