C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are frequently elevated in patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), and these elevations are relevant and potentially useful in management of the condition, according to a study published online in Allergy.

Pavel Kolkhir, MD, PhD, from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from 1253 CSU patients from two centers to determine the prevalence of elevated levels of CRP. Serum CRP was measured using the nephelometric method.

The researchers found that one-third of patients exhibiting CSU had elevated levels of CRP.

Factors associated with higher levels of CRP included autologous serum skin test positivity (P = .009) and arterial hypertension (P = .005). CRP correlated with urticaria activity (P < .001) and quality-of-life impairment (P = .026), as well as inflammatory and coagulation markers (P < .001).Compared to patients who did responded to antihistamines, CRP levels were significantly higher in non-responders (P < .001).

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“The assessment of CRP levels may help to optimize the management of patients with CSU,” the authors write.

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Kolkhir P, Altrichter S, Hawro T, Maurer M. C-reactive protein is linked to disease activity, impact, and response to treatment in patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria [published online December 7, 2017]. Allergy. doi: 10.1111/all.13352