CME suggestions for pediatricians, allergists, and dermatologists, directed by an online survey on urticaria knowledge

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Cesar Fireth Pozo-Beltrán
Désirée Larenas-Linnemann
Johanna Danielle Cardoza Arteche


urticaria, allergists, continuous medical education, dermatologists, pediatricians


Background: The Mexican Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of urticaria have been published. Just before their launch, physicians’ knowledge was explored relating to key issues of the guidelines.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the opinion of medical specialists concern-ing urticaria management.
Methods: A SurveyMonkey® survey was sent out to board-certified physicians of three medical specialties treating urticaria. Replies were analyzed per specialty against the evidence-based recommendations.

Results: Sixty-five allergists (ALLERG), 24 dermatologists (DERM), and 120 pediatricians (PED) sent their replies. As for diagnosis: ALERG 42% and PED 76% believe cutaneous mastocytosis, urticarial vasculitis, and hereditary angioedema are forms of urticaria, versus DERM 29% (P < 0.005). Most of the specialties find that the clinical history and physical examination are enough to diagnose acute urticaria, except DERM 45% (P < 0.01). DERM 45% believe laboratory-tests are necessary, as opposed to <15% ALLERG–PED (P < 0.005). However, PED 69% did not know that the most frequent cause of acute urticaria in children is infections, versus ALLERG– DERM 30% (P < 0.005). Many erroneously do laboratory testing in physical urticaria and ALLERG 51%, DERM 59%, and PED 37% do extensive laboratory testing in chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU); many more PED 59% take Immunoglobulin G (IgG) against foods (P < 0.005). More than half of non-allergists do not know about autologous serum testing nor autoimmunity (P < 0.05). As for treatment, there were a few major gaps: when CSU was controlled, >75% prescribed antihistamines pro re nata, and >85% gave first-generation antiH1 for insomnia. Finally, >40% of DERM did not know that cyclosporine A, omalizumab, or other immunosuppressants could be used in recalcitrant cases.

Conclusion: Specialty-specific continuous medical education might enhance urticaria management.

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