Urticaria, Angioedema, and Anaphylaxis
Allergy and Immunology
Pediatrics in review
Urticaria and, to a lesser extent, angioedema are common occurrences in the pediatric population. There are multiple causes of acute and chronic urticaria and angioedema. Most causes are benign, although they can be worrisome for patients and their parents. An allergist should evaluate acute urticaria and/or angioedema if there are concerns of an external cause, such as foods or medications. Chronic urticaria and angioedema can severely affect quality of life and should be managed aggressively with antihistamines and immunomodulators if poorly controlled. Chronic symptoms are unlikely to be due to an external cause. Anaphylaxis is a more serious allergic condition characterized by a systemic reaction involving at least 2 organ systems. Anaphylaxis should be initially managed with intramuscular epinephrine. Patients who experience anaphylaxis should be evaluated by an allergist for possible causes; if found, avoidance of the inciting antigen is the best management. All patients should also be given an epinephrine autoinjector and an action plan. Foods are a common cause of anaphylaxis in the pediatric population. New evidence suggests that the introduction of highly allergic foods is safe in infancy and should not be delayed. In addition, the early introduction of foods such as peanuts may help prevent the development of food allergies.
Pier, Jennifer and Bingemann, Theresa A., "Urticaria, Angioedema, and Anaphylaxis" (2020). Rochester Regional Health authored publications and proceedings. 322.