Fast Five Quiz: Refresh Your Knowledge on Key Aspects of Acute Urticaria

William James, MD

Disclosures

March 27, 2018

Urticaria (hives) is a vascular reaction of the skin marked by the transient appearance of smooth, slightly elevated papules or plaques (wheals) that are erythematous and that are often attended by severe pruritus. Individual lesions resolve without scarring in several hours. Most cases of urticaria are self-limited and of short duration; the eruption rarely lasts more than several days, but it may be recurrent over weeks. Chronic urticaria is defined as urticaria with recurrent episodes lasting longer than 6 weeks.

Acute urticaria may be, in a short time, associated with life-threatening angioedema and/or anaphylactic shock, although it usually presents as rapid-onset shock without urticaria or angioedema. The development of urticaria is often an isolated event without a systemic reaction. Rarely, it can be a prelude to the development of an anaphylactic reaction. If any features of anaphylaxis (eg, hypotension, respiratory distress, stridor, gastrointestinal distress, swallowing problems, joint swelling, joint pain) are present, immediate medical intervention should occur.

Are you familiar with key aspects of the presentation, workup, and treatment of urticaria? Test your knowledge with this short quiz.

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