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Low-dose and short-term cyclosporine treatment in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria: a clinical and immunological evaluation.

The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of 2.5 mg/kg/day cyclosporin (CsA) treatment in patients with severe chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) and the impact of CsA treatment on several cytokines involved in the etiopathogenesis of CIU. Twenty-seven CIU patients and 24 healthy control subjects were included in the study. The autologous serum skin test (ASST) for autoantibodies and urticaria activity scoring (UAS) were measured for the evaluation of the clinical severity and the response to therapy, and the serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-2 receptor, IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and IL-5 were measured. The mean UAS score was 32.07 +/- 7.05 and 6.22 +/- 3.84 before and after CsA treatment, respectively. The serum IL-2 receptor, TNF-alpha and IL-5 levels of patients before CsA treatment were statistically higher than those of the control group (P = 0.001), and after 4 weeks of CsA therapy the mean IL-2R, TNF-alpha and IL-5 levels were significantly decreased. The data from this study demonstrate that CsA therapy is efficient and safe for CIU patients. Increase in clinical efficacy and marked decreases in serum cytokine levels suggest that inhibition of cytokine generation is involved in the action of the drug in this clinical setting.

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