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Schnitzler syndrome: response to anakinra in two cases and a review of the literature


Christian Schuster, md
Department of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy
Medical University of Graz
Auenbruggerplatz 8
A-8036 Graz


Background  Schnitzler syndrome is a rare disease characterized by a chronic urticarial eruption and monoclonal gammopathy, as well as clinical and laboratory signs of inflammation. The pathophysiology is still unknown, although various autoantibody-mediated mechanisms have been described. Complete remission of symptoms has been reported recently in patients with Schnitzler syndrome treated with anakinra, an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.

Methods  Two patients with Schnitzler syndrome treated with anakinra therapy are presented.

Results  We report two cases of nearly complete remission of symptoms in Schnitzler syndrome after the initiation of anakinra therapy, and the first observation of a relapse under continuous daily anakinra therapy. A review of the published literature on the treatment of Schnitzler syndrome with anakinra is presented.

Conclusions  Based on published data, monotherapy with anakinra is currently the most promising treatment for Schnitzler syndrome, because it is able to induce complete remission of symptoms.