The effect of COVID-19 on patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria treated with omalizumab and antihistamines: A cross-sectional, comparative study
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is defined as recurrent attacks of urticaria present for more than six weeks. The monoclonal anti-immunoglobulin E antibody, omalizumab, was approved for the treatment of CSU in patients who remain refractory to H1-antihistamines. Biologic agents are shown not to increase the risk of COVID-19 infection in different studies. In the present study, we aimed to determine the prevalance of COVID-19 infection in relation to the age, gender, presence of other
... dities, and treatment given for CSU. We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study of 233 patients diagnosed with CSU in a tertiary referral hospital. Demographical data, treatment given for CSU, the presence of COVID-19-related symptoms, history of close contact to a person with COVID-19 and COVID-19 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results were determined via a telephone survey and checked from medical data records. One hundred sixty patients were female; whereas 73 were male. The mean age was 44.76. Out of 233 patients with chronic urticaria, 125 had symptoms related to COVID-19 infection. RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 was performed in 156 patients. Of 156 patients with COVID-19 RT-PCR test, RT-PCR result was positive in 15 cases. No statistically significant relationship was found between COVID-19 RT-PCR positivity and the type of treatment administered for chronic urticaria when the patients are divided into omalizumab ± oral antihistamines and only oral antihistamines treatment groups (p = 0.150). Omalizumab seems to be safe in the era of COVID-19.