Chinese Journal of Dermatology ›› 2023, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (6): 525-530.doi: 10.35541/cjd.20220935

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Clinical features of chronic spontaneous urticaria in China: results from a hospital-based multicenter epidemiological survey

Wang Xin1, Liu Lijuan2, Li Linfeng1   

  1. 1Department of Dermatology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China; 2Department of Dermatology, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 000050, China
  • Received:2022-12-30 Revised:2023-04-11 Online:2023-06-15 Published:2023-06-05
  • Contact: Li Linfeng

Abstract: 【Abstract】 Objective To investigate clinical features of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) in China. Methods A questionnaire survey was carried out in CSU patients at the first visit and 4 follow-up visits in Departments of Dermatology of 12 third-grade hospitals in northern and southern China from January to December 2019. The survey content included demographic characteristics, pruritus intensity, the number of wheals, concomitant symptoms (such as pain in skin lesions, arthralgia, fever) during the last week prior to the admission, classification and subtypes of urticaria, and previous and current treatment regimens, etc., and the 7-day urticaria activity score (UAS7) was used to evaluate the therapeutic effect. Patients from 9 hospitals in Sichuan, Hubei and Fujian provinces were enrolled into the southern China group, and patients from 3 hospitals in Beijing municipality and Liaoning province were enrolled into the northern China group. Differences between groups were analyzed by two-independent-sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test or chi-square test. Results Overall, 1 396 CSU outpatients were enrolled, including 592 males and 804 females; their age was 38.32 ± 16.13 years, 1 109 (79.5%) were aged between 20 and 60 years, and 660 (47.3%) were aged between 20 and 40 years. Their age at onset was 35.85 ± 16.03 years, and the disease duration was 0.50 (0.25, 2.00) years. Allergic diseases were the most common concomitant diseases, 269 (19.3%) patients were diagnosed with accompanied allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis, 169 (14%) with accompanied eczema/dermatitis, 39 (2.8%) with accompanied asthma; only 19 (1.4%) CSU patients had a history of thyroid diseases, but 133 (9.5%) were positive for anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) or anti-thyroglobulin (Tg) antibodies at the visit; elevated serum total IgE levels were observed in 437 (31.3%) patients, and 104 (7.4%) were positive for autoantibodies. There were 1 078 (77.2%) patients in the southern China group and 318 (22.8%) in the northern China group, and the southern China group showed significantly longer disease duration (2.16 ± 4.76 years vs. 1.53 ± 2.80 years, P < 0.001), and significantly higher proportions of patients with family history (10.7% vs. 3.5%), with painful lesions (5.8% vs. 0.9%), and those with arthralgia (10.7% vs. 0) compared with the northern China group (all P < 0.05). The three most prevalent urticaria subtypes were CSU (835 cases, 49.9%), symptomatic dermographism (437 cases, 31.3%), and angioedema (138 cases, 9.9%), and the proportion of patients with the single diagnosis of CSU was significantly higher in the southern China group (53%) than in the northern China group (38.9%, P < 0.001). In terms of treatment, 1 365 (97.8%) patients received conventional-dose second-generation H1 antihistamines alone or in combination, and only 31 (2.2%) were treated with antihistamines at high doses; other medicines were mostly administered in combination, and compound glycyrrhizin was most frequently prescribed (36.6%), while omalizumab was only administered in 7 patients (0.5%). Conclusions Significant differences in the clinical features of CSU were observed between northern and southern China. Nowadays traditional modalities are inadequate for the treatment of CSU, and new therapeutic drugs are somewhat promising.

Key words: Urticaria, Epidemiologic studies, Treatment outcome, Chronic spontaneous urticaria, Disease activity, Omalizumab