Efficacy of omalizumab treatment for pediatric chronic spontaneous urticaria: A multi-center retrospective case series

Anne Ari, Yael Levy, Nirit Segal, Ramit Maoz-Segal, Shira Benor, Arnon Broides, Amir Horev, Na'ama Epstein-Rigbi, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Nufar Marcus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chronic urticaria is defined by the presence of itchy wheals, sometimes accompanied by angioedema, lasting for at least 6 weeks. In children, most cases occur without an eliciting factor and are defined as chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). CSU affects up to 0.75% of children with a negative impact on quality of life and school performance. CSU is treated in adults with second-generation antihistamines, increased up to four times normal doses for second-line treatment. Omalizumab (a monoclonal antibody to IgE) may be recommended as third-line therapy. A similar protocol is used in children, yet little is known of its efficacy and safety. Objectives: To summarize our multi-center experience in treating children with recalcitrant CSU with omalizumab. Methods: A retrospective multi-center case series conducted in 5 tertiary care centers in Israel. Patients included were children <18 years old diagnosed with recalcitrant CSU who were treated with omalizumab. Patients were followed up throughout the duration of omalizumab therapy/symptom remission. Patients' electronic medical records were used to gather data. Results: Nineteen participants (11 F; 8 M) presented with CSU between ages 6 and 16.9 years. Sixteen (84%) responded to omalizumab, including children <12 years old, although two became non-responsive after 6-12 months of therapy. Another three patients (16%) were resistant to treatment, achieving remission through fourth-line (Cyclosporine A) or other therapies. Conclusion: Children with recalcitrant CSU, even those <12 years old, respond well to standard-dose, third-line omalizumab therapy at rates similar to adults. Yet, some cases may become non-responsive with ongoing treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1054
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • chronic urticaria
  • omalizumab
  • pediatric chronic urticaria
  • recalcitrant urticaria


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