Chronic urticaria in childhood: natural course and etiology

Ann Allergy. 1983 Aug;51(2 Pt 1):161-5.


We retrospectively studied 94 children with urticaria longer than six weeks in duration. The disease was equally distributed among the sexes and the following age subgroups (0-3.9 years, 4.0-7.9 years, 8.0-11.9 years and 12.0-15.9 years). A cause of the urticaria was identified or suspected in 15 of the patients. These included eight patients with cold urticaria, two with infection (hepatitis, sinusitis), two with food allergy, one patient with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, one with arthralgia associated with a positive ANA and one with a low level of total hemolytic complement (CH50). Follow-up of a year of more on 52 patients revealed a median duration of urticarial symptoms of 16.0 months, with 58% of children becoming symptom free for six months or more, whereas the remaining 42% continued to have recurrent symptoms but without the development of an underlying serious illness. Results of the present study indicate that the etiology of chronic urticaria in childhood remains mostly undetermined but that the prognosis is generally favorable. However, one must consider an underlying infection or autoimmune disease as a potential etiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Angioedema / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Eosinophilia / etiology
  • Female
  • Food Additives / adverse effects
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Humans
  • IgG Deficiency
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion
  • Sinusitis / complications
  • Urticaria / etiology*


  • Food Additives