429Berlin, Germany, 1-2 October 2004

The Charité University Hospital in Berlin hosted again the International Consensus Meeting on Urticaria after the successful first one in the year 2000. The famous Campus Virchow Klinikum was the venue. While the first meeting had been organized by the Department of Dermatology and Allergy at the Charité, Urticaria 2004 is a joined initiative of the newly established European Centre of Allergy Research Fondation (ECARF) in collaboration with EAACI Dermatology Section and GA²LEN. By promoting the development of updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of urticaria all these organizations and programs follows their common aim: standardized evidence based management of allergic diseases.

After 4 years of development in the field, new ideas, approaches and experience are available. A significant number of young scientists and clinicians found a platform to report new data in Oral Presentations Sessions and lively discussions on the fascinating different faces of urticaria followed the reports. The issues about infectious and autoimmune genesis of urticaria were discussed. In fact both hypotheses are still debatable. The importance of Quality of Life studies on urticaria with validated questionnaires was pointed out.  In addition, case reports of anaphylactic reactions to different substances as well as successful treatment possibilities were reported.

Renowned international experts in the field of urticaria have been invited to review the current knowledge and the recent advances in pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. After the welcome message by the head of ECARF and chair of the organizing committee, Torsten Zuberbier (Germany), P. Skov (Denmark) gave a detailed update on pathophysiology of mast cells, the cells that play the principal part in urticaria. M. Kozel (The Netherlands) lectured on the epidemiology and socioeconomic consequences of urticaria. The “father” of Autologous Serum Skin Test (ASST), C.E.H. Grattan (U.K.) discussed the relevancy of the terms acute and chronic urticaria (the chronic urticaria is in fact chronic from the very beginning), while A. Zalewska (Poland) focused of physical urticarias. W. Canonica (Italy) promoted recently developed and validated by his group new questionnaire evaluating the impact of urticaria on Health Related Quality of Life. M. Maurer (Germany) provoked the interest of the delegates with a new possible pathogenic mechanism of chronic urticaria: autoallergy i.e. IgE directed against patient’s TPO. K. Hartmann went into the issues of the related to urticaria diseases like urticaria pigmentosa, urticaria vasculitis and hereditary angioedema being the main differential diagnosis of the disease. Finally, B. Wedi (Germany) summarized the randomized trials in chronic urticaria pointing out that high quality studies are still lacking with one exception: non-sedation antihistamines. The specificity of the treatment of chronic urticaria patients with non-sedation antihistamines was in the highlight of M. Church’s talk (UK).

More than 400 delegates took part in the interactive panel discussions and the consensus protocols for definition, classification, routine diagnosis and management of urticaria published after the previous meeting was thoroughly revised according to recent developments. The organizers promised that the proceedings of the symposium as well as the consensus report will shortly appear in the Journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology “Allergy”. The interesting scientific and social program made the Second International Consensus Meeting: Urticaria 2004 an unforgettable event. Perhaps all the participants will be looking forward to Berlin 2008….

Last updated 14 July 2009
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