Multiple drug hypersensivity: Insight into the underlying mechanism and correlation with autoimmune diseases

G. Colombo, M. R. Yacoub, S. E. Bupastero, E. Garattini, S. Girlanda, N. Saporiti, F. Salvo, M. G. Sabbadini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Subjects with drug hypersensitivity are sometimes simultaneously reactive to several drugs. This nosological entity is defined as multiple drug hipersensivity (MDH). Urticaria and angioedema are the commonest clinical manfrstations of hypersensitivity drug reactions (HDR). These clinical signs are also pathognomonic of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), whose pathogenetic mechanisms are still largely unknown. The diagnostic algorithm of CIU includes autologous serum skin test (ASST) and autologous plasma skin test (APST), which demonstrated a high positive and negative predictive value, in multiple nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAJDs) intolerance. Objective: To explore the underlying mechanism of MDH and to assess the correlation between such tests and autoimmune diseases (AD). Methods: Twenty eight subjects with MDH referred to our Allergy/Immunology Unit were enrolledfrom May 2006 to May 200Z Eight healthy subjects served as controls. In addition to common diagnostic tools used in the diagnostic algorithm ofMDFL enrolled subjects also underwent ASST and APST. Results: Patients were predominantlyfemale (23 female vs 5 male; mean age 52.2 years). In 61% of cases MDH was associated with either CIU or AD. NSAIDs and antibiotics were the major causes of I-fDR, both implied in 54% of subjects. The proportions of MDH-subjects with positive ASST and APST were 46.4% and 28.6%, respectively. All patients with MDH+AD-+-CIU (4/4) presented apositiveASST Conclusions: In patients with MDH, ASST proved to be frequently positive, as previously describedfor multiple NSAIDs intolerance. In ASST-positive subjects, the activity of several drugs appears to add up FceRI specfic autoantibodies in the induction of the release of allergic mediators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic idiopatic urticaria
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • Multiple drug hypersensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple drug hypersensivity: Insight into the underlying mechanism and correlation with autoimmune diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this