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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2011;154(2):177-80. doi: 10.1159/000320233. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Anti-immunoglobulin E treatment of patients with recalcitrant physical urticaria.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Allergie-Centrum-Charité, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


In physical urticaria, exogenous physical factors such as thermal triggers, solar radiation and mechanic triggers including friction or pressure are responsible for the elicitation of symptoms in the skin of patients. Avoidance of the respective stimulus is usually difficult or impossible, and many patients are not sufficiently treated with standard antihistamines. We report that treatment with omalizumab (Xolair®) of 7 patients with physical urticarias [solar urticaria (n = 2), urticaria factitia/symptomatic dermographism (n = 2), cold urticaria, delayed pressure urticaria and localized heat urticaria] resulted in complete symptom control within days after the first injection in 5 patients. In 1 patient, symptoms improved after increasing the dose of omalizumab, and 1 patient with localized heat urticaria did not respond significantly to treatment. Before anti-immunoglobulin E treatment, all patients had suffered from their physical urticaria for years and had had numerous unsuccessful therapies. The overall excellent responses to omalizumab treatment reported here indicate that anti-immunoglobulin E is a safe and effective treatment for recalcitrant physical urticarias.

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