Questions and answers in chronic urticaria: where do we stand and where do we go?

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This supplement reports proceedings of the second international Global Urticaria Forum, which was held in Berlin, Germany in November 2015. In 2011, a report of the GA2LEN task force on urticaria outlined important and unanswered questions in chronic urticaria (CU). These included, but were not limited to, questions on the epidemiology and course of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) [also called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)], the resources allocated for the diagnosis and treatment of CSU, whether patients with angioedema as an isolated symptom can be regarded as a subgroup of CSU, and the efficacy and long-term safety of therapies. Many of these questions have been addressed by recent studies. Some of the answers obtained raise new questions. Here, we summarize some of the key insights on CU obtained over recent years, and we discuss old and new unmet needs and how to address them with future studies. We need to analyze the influence of recent advances in understanding of the burden of CU on patients and society, disease management and the CU patient journey. Our increased understanding of urticarial pathophysiology and consideration of the patient as a whole will need to be translated to better treatment algorithms and protocols. Actions to address these challenges include the 5th International Consensus Meeting on Urticaria, which will take place later this year. The formation of a global network of Urticaria Centers of Reference and Excellence over the next few years has also been proposed, with the aim of providing consistent excellence in urticaria management and a clear referral route, furthering knowledge of urticaria through additional research and educating/promoting awareness of urticaria.

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