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Ann Dermatol. 2014 Apr;26(2):189-94. doi: 10.5021/ad.2014.26.2.189. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Clinical characteristics of cholinergic urticaria in Korea.

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Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



Cholinergic urticaria is a type of physical urticaria characterized by heat-associated wheals. Several reports are available about cholinergic urticaria; however, the clinical manifestations and pathogenesis are incompletely understood.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of cholinergic urticaria in Korea.


We performed a retrospective study of 92 patients with cholinergic urticaria who were contacted by phone and whose diagnoses were confirmed by the exercise provocation test among those who had visited The Catholic University of Korea, Catholic Medical Center from January 2001 to November 2010.


All 92 patients were male, and their average age was 27.8 years (range, 17~51 years). Most of the patients had onset of the disease in their 20s and 30s. Non-follicular wheals were located on the trunk and upper extremities of many patients, and the symptoms were aggravated by exercise. Eight patients showed general urticaria symptoms and 15 had accompanying atopic disease. Forty-three patients complained of seasonal aggravation. Most patients were treated with first and second-generation antihistamines.


Dermatologists should consider these characteristics in patients with cholinergic urticaria. Further investigation and follow-up studies are necessary to better understand the epidemiological and clinical findings of cholinergic urticaria.


Cholinergic; Epidemiology; Phenotype; Signs and symptoms; Urticaria

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