Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU): Canadian Dermatologists' Perspective

Loretta Y Cheung, Charles W Lynde
Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2016, 20 (4): 308-12

BACKGROUND: Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a skin disorder that is said to be "frustrating" and "difficult to treat." It is characterized by recurrent hives for more than 6 weeks, and is further divided into spontaneous or inducible by physical stimuli.(1) To better understand dermatologists' perspective of this disorder, a survey was conducted with Canadian dermatologists.

METHODS: A detailed online practice survey was sent to all currently practicing Canadian dermatologists.

RESULTS: In all, 80 responses were received (response rate of 20%). Most respondents in Canada had treated patients with CSU (98.4%), with many of the patients having the disease last over 6 months (86.6%). A majority of the patients were female, with 84.1% of the respondents having over 50% of their patients as female. Most patients were over the age of 30 (74.2%). Of dermatologists, 85.7% felt that investigations were unhelpful in diagnosing CSU in a patient. Of respondents, 37.1% were not satisfied with current treatment methods of CSU, and 43.6% somewhat satisfied. Popular therapies included H1 and H2 antihistamines, oral corticosteroids, and montelukast. There were 16.1% of dermatologists who had over 50% of their patients refractory to treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a clear demographic preponderance for CSU patients with a majority as female over age 30. Investigations ordered for CSU patients do not seem to be helpful among dermatologists. Satisfaction with current therapies and investigations was quite low among Canadian dermatologists, suggesting new therapies are indicated.

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