Junior Member News - December 2016

Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria – Global Challenge

Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a skin disorder that can be quite challenging for a physician and devastating for a patient, taking a dramatic toll on quality of life, social activities and daily performance. Patients often feel frustrated and exhausted being referred to different specialists and undergoing an extensive diagnostic work up that yields little or no result at all.  In this light, raising awareness among clinicians of the state-of-the-art approaches to –°SU diagnosis and management as well as providing the patients with counseling and valid information about their condition seem of prime importance. 

Events like the 3rd annual Urticaria Day on 1 October 2016, serve this purpose brilliantly. This year's Urticaria Day, under the slogan “Never Give Up”, encouraged patients to stay strong and retake control of their lives with the help of their doctors and other patients who shared their own experience of tackling urticaria on the web-platform. Good urticaria research, global collaboration and networking are what Prof. Marcus Maurer and other initiators of Urticaria Day from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin call for.

November 2016 marked another crucially important event for the global Urticaria community – GA²LEN Global Urticaria Forum and long-awaited 5th Consensus Conference on the Update and Revision of the EAACI/GA²LEN/EDF/WAO Guideline. These were three exciting days of learning, exchanging ideas and animated discussions. Four scientific sessions with a total of eighteen oral presentations, seven overview lectures by top international experts, four workshops gathered more than 300 urticaria fans from all around the globe.  

In the run-up to the Urticaria guidelines revision, several milestone papers summarizing our understanding of CSU pathogenesis and shaping a framework for a new field of research had come out. One of them by Kolkhir et al. proposes two types of autoimmunity (Type I and Type II) to be implicated in CSU and uses Hill’s criteria of causality to assess the existing evidence for their role. This paper was born out of successful cooperation between two allergy centres – in Moscow and Berlin, Prof. Marcus Maurer being the major driving force behind it.

As the year draws to its end, we are all excited about new projects and activities that will be launched after the holiday season. A group of WAO Junior Members headed by Pavel Kolkhir and Dmitry Pogorelov (Russia) have been working on developing an online survey on CSU management in different regions of the world aimed to compare the approaches used by practising physicians and their attitude towards current guidelines since June, 2016. The project was first proposed at the WAO Skin Allergy focus group meeting in Vienna and was approved by the WAO ExCom in the autumn. 

We wish you all a blissful holiday season and look forward to working together for the benefit of our specialty and patients in 2017!

Dmitry Pogorelov, MD and Pavel Kolkhir, MD, PhD