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Chronic Urticaria and Angioneurotic Edema

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Abstract

One hundred and fifty-nine cases of chronic urticaria and angioneurotic edema have been observed at the Cleveland Clinic during the 2 year period 1947 to 1948.

Seventy-eight cases were treated in 1947 and 81 during the following year. The over-all incidence of these syndromes as compared to all new admissions to the Clinic was 0.25 per cent.

Urticaria and angioneurotic edema are generally considered as part of the same process occurring in different sites in the skin. This view is supported by the evidence presented in Table 1 which shows that more than half of our patients had both hives and angioneurotic edema.

As shown in Table 2, sex was not a significant factor in the incidence of urticaria. However, angioneurotic edema alone occurred much more frequently in men.

In 102 of the cases in this series the approximate date of onset of the original symptoms was known but we were unable to demonstrate any significant seasonal incidence. This conclusion is not consistent with certain other opinions expressed in the current literature.

Many possible causes have been proposed, and as shown in Table 3, most of our cases have more than one probable etiologic factor. A tabulation of the incidence of the various responsible factors in this series is presented in Table 4.

Of the 26 per cent showing evidence of some focus of infection, 11 patients had tonsillitis, 8 prostatitis, 5 epidermophytosis, 4 sinusitis, 4 evidence of gallbladder abnormality, 14 dental caries, 2 intestinal parasites, and 2 bronchiectasis.

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