ABSTRACT In the last few decades, increasing understanding of the pathomechanisms
involved in chronic urticaria has highlighted the heterogeneity of different
subtypes, and chronic urticaria is now classified as chronic spontaneous urticaria and
inducible urticaria. Although many factors are thought to be involved in chronic urticaria,
the etiology is yet to be clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate
etiological factors in patients with chronic urticaria.
Five hundred patients with chronic urticaria, 351 women and 149 men, were studied
for etiological factors. The autologous serum skin test was performed on 197 patients.
Provocation testing for physical urticaria was performed on 354 patients. Patients
with acute urticaria were excluded from the study. We determined at least one focus
of infection that might be involved in the etiology of the disease in 18.8% of cases.
Patients with infections were treated, and symptoms resolved after treatment in six
cases (5.3%). Autologous serum skin tests were positive in 125 patients (63.5%). Provocation
tests for physical urticaria were positive in 131 (37%) patients with urticaria.
We suggest that physical stimuli and autoantibodies play an important role in the
etiopathogenesis of urticaria.
KEY WORDS: urticaria, etiopathogenesis, physical urticaria, autologous serum