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Allergol Int. 2012 Dec;61(4):539-44. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.12-RAI-0485. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Pathogenesis of cholinergic urticaria in relation to sweating.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Department of Internal Related, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan. bito@med.kobe−u.ac.jp

Abstract

Cholinergic urticaria (CU) has clinically characteristic features, and has been frequently described in the literature. However, despite its comparatively old history, the pathogenesis and classification remains to be clarified. CU patients are occasionally complicated by anhidrosis and/or hypohidrosis. This reduced-sweat type should be included in the classification because the therapeutic approaches are different from the ordinary CU. It is also well-known that autologous sweat is involved in the occurrence of CU. More than half of CU patients may have sweat hypersensitivity. We attempt to classify CU and address the underlying mechanisms of CU based on the published data and our findings. The first step for classification of CU seems to discriminate the presence or absence of hypersensitivity to autologous sweat. The second step is proposed to determine whether the patients can sweat normally or not. With these data, the patients could be categorized into three subtypes: (1) CU with sweat hypersensitivity; (2) CU with acquired anhidrosis and/or hypohidrosis; (3) idiopathic CU. The pathogenesis of each subtype is also discussed in this review.

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