JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY AND VENEREOLOGY, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Background Although chronic urticaria (CU) is a common and primarily affects females, there is little data on how pregnancy interacts with the disease. Objective To analyse the treatment use by CU patients before, during and after pregnancy as well as outcomes of pregnancy. Methods PREG-CU is an international, multicentre study of the Urticaria Centers of Reference and Excellence network. Data were collected via a 47-item-questionnaire completed by CU patients who became pregnant during their disease course. Results Questionnaires from 288 CU patients from 13 countries were analysed. During pregnancy, most patients (60%) used urticaria medication including standard-dose second generation H1-antihistamines (35.1%), first generation H1-antihistamines (7.6%), high-dose second-generation H1-antihistamines (5.6%) and omalizumab (5.6%). The preterm birth rate was 10.2%; rates were similar between patients who did and did not receive treatment during pregnancy (11.6% vs. 8.7%, respectively). Emergency referrals for CU and twin birth were risk factors for preterm birth. The caesarean delivery rate was 51.3%. More than 90% of new-borns were healthy at birth. There was no link between any patient or disease characteristics or treatments and medical problems at birth. Conclusion Most CU patients used treatment during pregnancy especially second-generation antihistamines which seem to be safe during pregnancy regardless of the trimester. The rates of preterm births and medical problems of new-borns in CU patients were similar to population norms and not linked to treatment used during pregnancy. Emergency referrals for CU increased the risk of preterm birth and emphasize the importance of sufficient treatment to keep urticaria under control during pregnancy.