COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Are autoantibodies present in patients with subacute and chronic urticaria?

Since several forms of autoimmunity have been associated with urticaria, we performed a detailed survey of autoantibodies in patients with idiopathic subacute and chronic urticaria. Sera from 25 consecutive patients referred for evaluation of urticaria were tested for the presence of autoantibodies and compared to sera from seventy-five control samples examined from individuals being treated for other allergic diseases. Study patients ranged in age from 15 to 73 years, with a mean of 48. One patient had a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease and one had multiple myeloma, but otherwise there were no other diagnoses of disease specifically involving immunity other than atopy. No study patients had a concurrent diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease. The test sera were examined for autoantibodies and for antibodies to H. pylori. Antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPO) were found significantly (p < 0.01) more common in urticaria (20%] than in controls (0%). Rheumatoid factor(RF) was also found in significantly (p < 0.05) increased in urticaria (16%) compared to controls [0%). Neither H. pylori antibody nor other autoantibodies were present in significant numbers of urticaria patients when compared to controls. Tested autoantibodies included those to thyroglobulin, sDNA, SSA/SSB, ENA, cardiolipin, beta2-glycoprotein I, myeloperoxidase, proteinase-3, smooth muscle, ANA, human lysosomal-associated membrane protein, and bactericidal permeability increasing protein. Thus, patients with urticaria were somewhat more likely to have a thyroid autoantibody to TPO or to have RF. This survey demonstrates that while some markers of autoimmunity may be increased in urticaria patients, broad nonspecific autoimmunity is not found.

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