Clinical Features of Acute Urticaria and Angioedema

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Features of Acute Urticaria and Angioedema. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Features

The patient usually presents with pruritus and circumscribed, raised, erythematous lesion (wheals). They are raised because of dermal edema which may extend deep into the tissue resulting in subcutaneous swelling called angioedema. Hence, urticaria and angioedema may occur in any location together or individually. The sites of involvement include, i.e. the eyelids, lips, tongue, larynx, palmsoles, genitalia and GI tract as well as subcutaneous tissue.

The immune complex induced urticaria associated with serum sickness like reaction occurs 6 to 12 days after first exposure.

The wheals lesions appear suddenly and are itchy, do not last longer than 48 hours, but may continue to occur for indefinite periods. Several attacks may be associated with laryngeal edema, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hematuria, vomiting, dizziness, syncope, hypotension, or shock, arthralgias and broncho-spasm called anaphylactic syndrome. Laryngeal involvement may be potentially fatal if not treated urgently.

In children urticaria may be associated with fever or pain in abdomen (worm infestation). In cholinergic urticaria triggered by a rise in core body temperature (hot showers, exercise) wheals are 2-3mm in diameter with a large surrounding red flare. Cold urticaria is acquired or inherited and triggered by exposure to cold and wind.

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