Autoimmune chronic spontaneous urticaria

Mast cells are activated by IgE autoantibodies to autoallergens (type I autoallergy) or IgG-anti-IgE/IgG-anti-FcεRI autoantibodies (type IIb autoimmunity).
Elsevier, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 149, June 2022
Kolkhir P., Munoz M., Asero R., Ferrer M., Kocaturk E., Metz M. et al.

Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a debilitating mast cell–driven disease characterized by recurrent wheals and/or angioedema. Substantial progress has been made in dissecting the 2 main autoimmune mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of CSU. Type I autoimmune (autoallergic) CSU is associated with IgE antibodies against autoantigens, for example, thyroid peroxidase and IL-24. Type IIb autoimmune CSU is mediated by autoantibodies that activate mast cells, for example, via IgE and FcεRI, and is present in less than 10% of patients with CSU when strict criteria are used, that is, triple positivity of autologous serum skin test, immunoassays for IgG autoantibodies, and basophil activation tests. A subpopulation of patients with CSU has both types. Type IIb autoimmune CSU is characterized by higher disease severity, concomitant autoimmune diseases, low levels of total IgE, elevated levels of IgG-anti–thyroid peroxidase, basopenia, eosinopenia, poor response to antihistamines and to omalizumab, and a good response to cyclosporine. Novel targeted therapies for CSU are under development such as ligelizumab, an anti-IgE, fenebrutinib and remibrutinib, Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and dupilumab, an anti–IL-4Rα. Further studies should investigate the overlap between autoallergic and type IIb autoimmune CSU, optimize the diagnosis of both autoimmune endotypes using easy-to-perform, noninvasive, and inexpensive markers, and assess differences in response to therapy.