UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Review of cold-induced urticaria characteristics, diagnosis and management in a Western Canadian allergy practice Stepaniuk, Peter; Vostretsova, Kateryna; Kanani, Amin


Background: Cold-induced urticaria is a significant condition, especially among young females. Despite the morbidity of this disease, studies that fully characterize the disease are limited. Methods: We analyzed the characteristics of patients diagnosed with cold-induced urticaria at a community-based allergy practice in Vancouver, BC, Canada between 2003 and 2016. Detailed patient history, diagnostic measures and treatment were evaluated. Results: A total of 50 patients were found to have active cold-induced urticaria with a median age of 28.5 (range 2–67) years and 35 patients (70%) were female. 16 patients (32%) had co-occurring physical urticarias while 26 patients (52%) had secondary allergic diagnoses and 3 patients (6%) were thought to have a provoking factor. Of those with a clinical history of suspected cold-induced urticaria that were evaluated with ice cube testing, a positive test was obtained in 84.7% of patients. Treatment was largely with non-sedating antihistamines, with the majority of patients receiving this modality. Conclusions: Cold-induced urticaria is a complex disease with significant overlap with other chronic inducible urticarias and other allergic diseases. Diagnostic testing shows inconsistent results and the mainstay of treatment consists of non-sedating antihistamines, with other options available for those who do not respond.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)