Effectiveness of omalizumab in a case of urticarial vasculitis

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2017 Jun;42(4):403-405. doi: 10.1111/ced.13076. Epub 2017 Mar 1.


Urticarial vasculitis (UV) is a mainly leucocytoclastic vasculitis with urticarial plaques. Treating these patients is challenging as the available treatments have poor efficacy. Oral corticosteroids are considered the first-line treatment, but H1 antihistamines, dapsone, colchicine, antimalarials, ciclosporin and antileucotrienes have all been tried also. However, because of their adverse effects and/or lack of efficacy, new agents are still needed. Omalizumab, an anti-IgE antibody, shows efficacy in chronic spontaneous urticaria, and might also be a good treatment for angio-oedema and urticarial vasculitis. To our knowledge, there have been only seven relevant case reports published in the English literature. We add a new case of severe chronic recurrent urticarial vasculitis refractory to all of the drugs mentioned above. We started the patient on subcutaneous omalizumab 300 mg every 4 weeks, which produced clinical improvement within the first month and total remission in the fifth month. The patient has remained stable for 23 months, and follow-up is ongoing.