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Abstract

Background  Active chronic urticaria, identified as a mast cell- and basophil-dependent inflammatory disorder of the skin is able to elicit acute phase response (APR). However, systemic inflammatory response in different types of urticaria is poorly characterized.

Aim  To determine APR pattern in a clearly defined group of patients with acute urticaria and/or angioedema – induced by NSAIDs.

Methods  Plasma IL-6 and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were studied in 17 patients with NSAIDs-induced acute urticaria/angioedema (NSAIDsAU) and in 20 healthy controls. Eleven patients who used NSAIDs were presented at the emergency room with acute urticaria/angioedema while the remaining six manifested the symptoms during the aspirin challenge test. Patients were examined in a dynamic manner: during the acute phase, and next, after subsidence of the symptoms.

Results  CRP and IL-6 concentrations increased significantly in patients with NSAIDsAU as compared with their asymptomatic period and the healthy subjects. In addition, NSAIDsAU patients showed elevated concentration of the biomarkers following aspirin provocation with the baseline values recovered in the asymptomatic period.

Conclusion  These results indicate that an acute systemic inflammatory response is activated in patients with NSAIDs-induced urticaria and/or angioedema. The study supports the evidence proving that up-regulation of CRP and IL-6 in urticaria/angioedema does not necessarily reflect any concomitant infection or other inflammatory processes, but may be due to the disease itself.