What is the pathophysiology of acute urticaria (hives)?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Urticaria results from the release of histamine, bradykinin, leukotriene C4, prostaglandin D2, and other vasoactive substances from mast cells and basophils in the dermis. [2] These substances cause extravasation of plasma into the dermis, leading to the urticarial lesion. The intense pruritus of urticaria is a result of histamine released into the dermis. One study showed that D-dimer levels correlate with the severity of acute urticaria and may serve as a marker of disease severity. [75]  


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