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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1988 Jun;18(6):1289-98.

Delayed pressure urticaria. Clinical features, laboratory investigations, and response to therapy of 44 patients.

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  • 1St. John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, London.


We studied 44 patients with delayed pressure urticaria. The mean age at onset of the disease was 33 years (range, 5 to 63 years) and the mean duration of disease was 9 years (range, 1 to 40 years). After pressure stimulus, the mean onset of whealing occurred in 3 1/2 hours, the mean peak swelling occurred after 10 hours, and the mean lesion duration was 36 hours. Two thirds of patients had generalized flulike symptoms. Sixty percent had disabling nonremitting delayed pressure urticaria. Sixty-two percent had coexistent chronic idiopathic urticaria, and 27% had angioedema. Delayed pressure urticaria was confirmed by pressure tests with either a calibrated dermographometer or suspended weights. More than 50% of patients tested also had delayed dermographism. A double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of indomethacin therapy in 14 patients revealed no significant subjective improvement or reduction in area of induced wheals. We conclude: (1) The diagnosis of delayed pressure urticaria can be easily made by dermographometer testing. (2) Delayed dermographism may be the same entity as delayed pressure urticaria induced by a different method of pressure application. (3) Systemic corticosteroids remain the only known effective treatment for disabling delayed pressure urticaria.

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