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Prevalence of antithyroid antibodies in chronic urtcaria
Urticaria persisting beyond 6 weeks is classified as chronic urticaria. It is further divided into two categories: autoimmune and idiopathic. Chronic autoimmune urticaria accounts for 45% of cases, and chronic idiopathic urticaria is seen in the other 55% of cases. Sixty patients with chronic urticaria, consulted over a 2-year period, were evaluated. Complete blood count, a thyroid function test and an antithyroid antibody evaluation were advised. Patients positive for antithyroid antibodies were given immunosuppressive therapy (methotrexate) as well as antihistamines. After 6 months of treatment with methotrexate, repeat titres of antithyroid antibodies were carried out. There was a significant decline in antithyroid antibody levels. Clinically these patients could discontinue antihistamines. Five patients showed recurrence of symptoms 3 months after discontinuation of treatment, but the symptoms were mild and easily controlled with antihistamines.