Review of chronic urticaria and autoantibodies to high-affinity receptor for IgE

Chronic urticaria is a common heterogeneous condition that can be quite debilitating.

80-90% of patients with chronic urticaria have no specific cause for their disease, which is therefore labeled “chronic idiopathic urticaria.”

30-50% of idiopathic cases may be autoimmune or related to mast cell and basophil abnormalities.

An autoantibody to the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI) binding to the alpha-chain (FcepsilonRIalpha) may be pathogenic of chronic autoimmune urticaria.

Role of IgE and mast cells in allergy. Image source: Wikipedia.

The gold standard for detecting autoantibodies to FcepislonRI is the functional in-vitro donor basophil histamine release assay.

The spectrum of chronic urticaria. Najib, Umer1; Sheikh, Javed. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2009 Jan-Feb;30(1):1-10.
Autoantibodies to the High-affinity IgE Receptor in Chronic Urticaria: How Important Are They? Medscape, 2005.

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