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1.
Risk factors for systemic reactions in typical cold urticaria : results from the COLD-CE study
Mojca Bizjak, Mitja Košnik, Dejan Dinevski, Simon Francis Thomsen, Daria Fomina, Elena Borzova, Kanokvalai Kulthanan, Raisa Meshkova, Dalia Melina Ahsan, Mona Al-Ahmad, Jovan Miljković, Dorothea Terhorst, Marcus Maurer, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background. Cold urticaria (ColdU), i.e. the occurrence of wheals or angioedema in response to cold exposure, is classified into typical and atypical forms. The diagnosis of typical ColdU relies on whealing in response to local cold stimulation testing (CST). It can also manifest with cold-induced anaphylaxis (ColdA). We aimed to determine risk factors for ColdA in typical ColdU. Methods. An international, cross-sectional study COLD-CE was carried out at 32 urticaria centers of reference and excellence (UCAREs). Detailed history was taken and CST with an ice cube and/or TempTest® performed. ColdA was defined as an acute cold-induced involvement of the skin and/or visible mucosal tissue and at least one of: cardiovascular manifestations, difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Results. Of 551 ColdU patients, 75% (n=412) had a positive CST and ColdA occurred in 37% (n=151) of the latter. Cold-induced generalized wheals, angioedema, acral swelling, oropharyngeal/laryngeal symptoms, and itch of earlobes were identified as signs/symptoms of severe disease. ColdA was most commonly provoked by complete cold water immersion and ColdA caused by cold air was more common in countries with a warmer climate. Ten percent (n=40) of typical ColdU patients had a concomitant chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). They had a lower frequency of ColdA than those without CSU (4% vs 39%, p=0.003). We identified the following risk factors for cardiovascular manifestations: previous systemic reaction to a Hymenoptera sting, angioedema, oropharyngeal/laryngeal symptoms, and itchy earlobes. Conclusion. ColdA is common in typical ColdU. High-risk patients require education about their condition and how to use an adrenaline autoinjector.
Keywords: urticaria, risk factors, epinephrine - therapeutic use, self administration, intramuscular injections - methods, cold urticaria, systemic reactions, adrenaline autoinjector
Published in DiRROS: 31.08.2022; Views: 64; Downloads: 18
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2.
Patch testing with the European baseline series and 10 added allergens : single centre study of 748 patients
Mojca Bizjak, Katja Adamič, Nisera Bajrović, Renato Eržen, Maja Jošt, Peter Kopač, Mitja Košnik, Nika Lalek, Mihaela Zidarn, Dejan Dinevski, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background. The European baseline series (EBS) of contact allergens is subject to change. An allergen is considered for inclusion when routine patch testing of patients with suspected contact dermatitis results in ≥ 0.5% prevalence rate. Objectives. We aimed to determine the frequency of sensitizations to 30 EBS allergens and 10 locally added allergens. Additionally, we assessed the strength and evolution of reactions to all tested allergens and co-reactivity of additional allergens. Methods. Patch testing with our baseline series of 40 allergens was done in 748 consecutive adults. Tests were applied to the upper back and removed by patients after 48 hours. Readings were done on day 3 (D3) and D6 or D7 (D6/7). Positive reactions fulfilled the criteria of at least one plus (+) reaction. Retrospective analysis was done. Results. Eight allergens not listed in the EBS had ≥ 0.5% prevalence rate (i.e., cocamidopropyl betaine, thiomersal, disperse blue mix 106/124, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, diazolidinyl urea, propylene glycol, Compositae mix II, and dexamethasone-21-phosphate), and 16.6% of positive reactions would have been missed without D6/7 readings. Conclusion. We propose further studies to evaluate whether cocamidopropyl betaine, disperse blue mix 106/124, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, diazolidinyl urea, and Compositae mix II need to be added to the EBS.
Keywords: allergy and immunology -- diagnosis, hypersensitivity -- diagnosis, skin tests, clinical epidemiology, baseline series, contact sensitization, patch tests, simultaneous reactivity
Published in DiRROS: 24.06.2022; Views: 121; Downloads: 38
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3.
Cryoglobulins, cryofibrinogens, and cold agglutinins in cold urticaria : literature review, retrospective patient analysis, and observational study in 49 patients
Katharina Ginter, Dalia Melina Ahsan, Mojca Bizjak, Karoline Krause, Marcus Maurer, Sabine Altrichter, Dorothea Terhorst, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: Cryoproteins, such as cryoglobulins, cryofibrinogens and cold agglutinins, precipitate at low temperatures or agglutinate erythrocytes and dissolve again when warmed. Their pathogenetic and diagnostic importance in cold urticaria (ColdU) is unclear. In this study, we aimed to characterize the prevalence of cryoproteins in patients with ColdU. Methods: We conducted 3 analyses: i) a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data using an adapted version of the Johanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tool for case series, ii) a retrospective analysis of 293 ColdU patients treated at our Urticaria Center of Reference and Excellence (UCARE) from 2014 to 2019, and iii) a prospective observational study, from July 2019 to July 2020, with 49 ColdU patients as defined by the EAACI/GA2LEN/EDF/UNEV consensus recommendations. Results: Our systematic review identified 14 relevant studies with a total of 1151 ColdU patients. The meta-analyses showed that 3.0% (19/628), 1.1% (4/357) and 0.7% (2/283) of patients had elevated levels of cryoglobulins, cryofibrinogens, and cold agglutinins, respectively. Our retrospective analyses showed that cryoproteins were assessed in 4.1% (12/293) of ColdU patients. None of nine ColdU patients had cryoglobulins, and one of 5 had cold agglutinins. In our prospective study, none of our patients had detectable cryoglobulins (0/48) or cryofibrinogens (0/48), but 4.3% (2/46) of patients had cold agglutinins (without any known underlying autoimmune or hematological disorder). Conclusion: Our investigation suggests that only very few ColdU patients exhibit cryoproteins and that the pathogenesis of ColdU is driven by other mechanisms, which remain to be identified and characterized in detail.
Keywords: urticaria, review, observational study, retrospective studies, cold urticaria, cryoglobulins, cryofibrinogens, cold agglutinins, retrospective analysis
Published in DiRROS: 28.05.2021; Views: 710; Downloads: 535
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4.
Cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins associate with clinical and laboratory parameters of cold urticaria
Mojca Bizjak, Mitja Košnik, Dorothea Terhorst, Dejan Dinevski, Marcus Maurer, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Mast cell-activating signals in cold urticaria are not yet well defined and are likely to be heterogeneous. Cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins have been described as factors possibly associated with cold urticaria, but their relevance has not been explained. We performed a single-center prospective cohort study of 35 cold urticaria patients. Cold agglutinin and cryoglobulin test results, demographics, detailed history data, cold stimulation test results, complete blood count values, C-reactive protein, total immunoglobulin E levels, and basal serum tryptase levels were analyzed. Forty six percent (n = 16) of 35 tested patients had a positive cold agglutinin test and 27% (n = 9) of 33 tested patients had a positive cryoglobulin test. Cold agglutinin positive patients, when compared to cold agglutinin negative ones, were mainly female (P = 0.030). No gender-association was found for cryoglobulins. A positive cold agglutinin test, but not a positive cryoglobulin test, was associated with a higher rate of reactions triggered by cold ambient air (P = 0.009) or immersion in cold water (P = 0.041), and aggravated by increased summer humidity (P = 0.007). Additionally, patients with a positive cold agglutinin test had a higher frequency of angioedema triggered by ingestion of cold foods or drinks (P = 0.043), and lower disease control based on Urticaria Control Test (P = 0.023). Cold agglutinin levels correlated with erythrocyte counts (r = -0.372, P = 0.028) and monocyte counts (r = -0.425, P = 0.011). Cryoglobulin concentrations correlated with basal serum tryptase levels (r = 0.733, P = 0.025) and cold urticaria duration (r = 0.683, P = 0.042). Results of our study suggest that cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins, in a subpopulation of cold urticaria patients, are linked to the course and possibly the pathogenesis of their disease.
Keywords: urticaria, mast cells, cold-induced urticaria, cold urticaria, cryoglobulins, cold agglutinin, degranulation, clinical parameters, laboratory parameters
Published in DiRROS: 10.05.2021; Views: 763; Downloads: 628
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5.
6.
The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management and course of chronic urticaria
Emek Kocatürk, Andaç Salman, Ivan Cherrez-Ojeda, Paulo Ricardo Criado, Jonny Peter, Elif Comert-Ozer, Mohamed Abuzakouk, Rosana Câmara Agondi, Mona Al-Ahmad, Sabine Altrichter, Mojca Bizjak, Mitja Košnik, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically disrupts health care around the globe. The impact of the pandemic on chronic urticaria (CU) and its management are largely unknown. Aim: To understand how CU patients are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; how specialists alter CU patient management; and the course of CU in patients with COVID-19. Materials and methods: Our cross-sectional, international, questionnaire-based, multicenter UCARE COVID-CU study assessed the impact of the pandemic on patient consultations, remote treatment, changes in medications, and clinical consequences. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic severely impairs CU patient care, with less than 50% of the weekly numbers of patients treated as compared to before the pandemic. Reduced patient referrals and clinic hours were the major reasons. Almost half of responding UCARE physicians were involved in COVID-19 patient care, which negatively impacted on the care of urticaria patients. The rate of face-to-face consultations decreased by 62%, from 90% to less than half, whereas the rate of remote consultations increased by more than 600%, from one in 10 to more than two thirds. Cyclosporine and systemic corticosteroids, but not antihistamines or omalizumab, are used less during the pandemic. CU does not affect the course of COVID-19, but COVID-19 results in CU exacerbation in one of three patients, with higher rates in patients with severe COVID-19. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic brings major changes and challenges for CU patients and their physicians. The long-term consequences of these changes, especially the increased use of remote consultations, require careful evaluation.
Keywords: chronic urticaria, pandemics, omalizumab, cyclosporine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, UCARE, treatment
Published in DiRROS: 14.12.2020; Views: 889; Downloads: 215
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7.
Cold urticaria : what we know and what we do not know
Natalya Maltseva, Elena Borzova, Daria Fomina, Mojca Bizjak, Dorothea Terhorst, Mitja Košnik, Kanokvalai Kulthanan, Raisa Meshkova, Simon Francis Thomsen, Marcus Maurer, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Cold urticaria (ColdU) is a common form of chronic inducible urticaria characterised by the development of wheals, angioedema or both in response to cold exposure. Recent research and guideline updates have advanced our understanding and management of ColdU. Today, its pathophysiology is thought to involve the cold-induced formation of autoallergens and IgE to these autoallergens, which provoke a release of proinflammatory mediators from skin mast cells. The classification of ColdU includes typical and atypical subtypes. We know that cold-induced wheals usually develop on rewarming and resolve within an hour and that anaphylaxis can occur. The diagnosis relies on the patient's history and cold stimulation testing. Additional diagnostic work-up, including a search for underlying infections, should only be done if indicated by the patient's history. The management of ColdU includes cold avoidance, the regular use of nonsedating antihistamines, and the off-label use of omalizumab. However, many questions regarding ColdU remain unanswered. Here, we review what is known about ColdU, and we present important unanswered questions on the epidemiology, underlying pathomechanisms, clinical heterogeneity and treatment outcomes. Our aim is to guide future efforts that will close these knowledge gaps and advance the management of ColdU.
Keywords: urticaria, cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, cold-induced urticaria, familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome, cold stimulation testing, wheals, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, cryoglobulins
Published in DiRROS: 14.12.2020; Views: 838; Downloads: 236
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8.
The Chronic Urticaria Registry (CURE) : rationale, methods, and initial implementation
Karsten Weller, Ana M. Giménez-Arnau, Clive Grattan, Riccardo Asero, Pascale Mathelier-Fusade, Mojca Bizjak, Michael Hanna, Marcus Maurer, 2020, short scientific article

Abstract: Background: Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common disease, characterized by the recurrent appearance of wheals, angioedema, or both for more than 6 weeks. Its underlying biology is not well understood, and many patients do not obtain sufficient relief from recommended treatments. Patient registries are rapidly growing as a form of research, because they can provide powerful, data-driven insights about the epidemiology of diseases, real-world effectiveness of treatments, rare patient types, safety monitoring, healthcare costs, and opportunities for quality improvement of healthcare delivery. Objectives: The Chronic Urticaria Registry (CURE) has been designed to improve the scientific understanding, clinical treatment, and healthcare planning of chronic urticaria patients. This report describes the rationale, methods, and initial implementation of this registry. Methods: CURE is an ongoing, prospective, international, multicenter, observational, voluntary registry of patients with CU. Participation in CURE is open to any physician treating CU patients, regardless of location, medical specialty, or type of practice setting. CURE aims to collect data on all CU patients, with no intentional selection or exclusion criteria. It collects baseline and follow-up data on the patient's demographics, history, symptoms, trigger and risk factors, therapies, and healthcare utilization. Results: CURE is a landmark achievement of the global urticaria medical community. As of 26 February 2020, 39 centers around the world have joined the registry and 35 have entered baseline data on a total of 2946 patients. Publications of this data will be forthcoming soon. Conclusions: CURE is eagerly seeking the participation of more physicians and the support of more governmental, charitable, and commercial sponsors from around the world. Here, in this paper, we invite other physicians to join this unique project to improve the lives of patients with CU.
Keywords: urticaria, registries
Published in DiRROS: 07.10.2020; Views: 860; Downloads: 468
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