Management of chronic spontaneous urticaria: Practical parameters

A. V. Marzano, P. Pigatto, A. Cristaudo, F. Ayala, O. Rossi, G. Senna, M. Triggiani, R. Asero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic urticaria (CU) is a skin disorder characterized by transient, pruritic wheals persisting for longer than 6 weeks. According to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) guidelines, CU can be categorized into two main types: chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), in which the wheals appear spontaneously, and inducible urticaria, that is triggered by physical agents. CSU may be due to triggering factors such as food allergens or infections, but in at least 40% of cases it is autoimmune in origin, caused by circulating autoantibodies anti-FcεRl or anti-IgE, or autoreactive. In the present paper, re-evaluating the EAACI guidelines, we have developed a document containing some practical indications which are useful for diagnosis and management of CSU in the context of the Italian situation. Concerning CSU treatment, second generation antihistamines are the first-line treatment; these drugs can be used, as second-line treatment, at a higher than licensed dose in patients who do not respond adequately at licensed doses. The third-line treatment includes leukotriene receptor antagonists which, however, do not have a specific indication for the treatment of CSU, cyclosporine, whose use in this disease is still off-label, and omalizumab. The latter is a recombinant monoclonal IgG antibody that binds free IgE, down regulates mast cell function and induces eosinophil apoptosis. Recently, it has emerged as an effective and safe treatment for antihistamine-unresponsive CSU of both autoimmune/autoreactive and non-autoimmune/non-autoreactive, and has been officially approved for use against this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalGiornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Histamine antagonists
  • Omalizumab
  • Urticaria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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