"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead
Original article
peer-reviewed

A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema



Abstract

The injection of autologous whole blood or serum, known as autohemotherapy, was a standard dermatologic treatment in the early 1900s. Conventional dermatologists eventually abandoned autohemotherapy due to a lack of supporting evidence, even though there had been no formal attempts to assess its effectiveness. Recently, several investigators have evaluated autohemotherapy as a treatment for urticaria and eczema. I conducted a systematic review of the literature on autohemotherapy, focusing on treatment outcomes. The available evidence indicates that autohemotherapy does not have major side effects, and that minor adverse effects are short-lived and similar in frequency to those from placebo injections. Overall, autohemotherapy tends to be somewhat more effective in reducing symptoms than control therapy across studies, although the advantage is not statistically reliable. Urticaria patients who test positive on the autologous serum skin test display a moderately better response to autohemotherapy than patients who test negative. Based on the limited evidence available, autologous whole blood and autologous serum injections appear to have similar effectiveness. Furthermore, the severity of symptoms prior to treatment is not consistently related to patients' apparent response to autohemotherapy.



Want to read more?

Create a free account to continue reading this article.

Already a member? Login.



Original article
peer-reviewed

A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema


Author Information

Devon D. Brewer Corresponding Author

Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, Seattle, WA


Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Human subjects: This study did not involve human participants or tissue. Animal subjects: This study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.

Acknowledgements

I thank Dr. Emek Kocatürk for providing additional unpublished results. Stuart Brody, Barbara Leigh, John Potterat, two anonymous reviewers, and co-editor-in-chief, Alexander Muacevic, gave helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. There was no funding for my work described in this article.


Original article
peer-reviewed

A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema


Figures etc.

Share
Original article
peer-reviewed

A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema

  • Author Information
    Devon D. Brewer Corresponding Author

    Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, Seattle, WA


    Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

    Human subjects: This study did not involve human participants or tissue. Animal subjects: This study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.

    Acknowledgements

    I thank Dr. Emek Kocatürk for providing additional unpublished results. Stuart Brody, Barbara Leigh, John Potterat, two anonymous reviewers, and co-editor-in-chief, Alexander Muacevic, gave helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. There was no funding for my work described in this article.


    Article Information

    Published: December 09, 2014

    DOI

    10.7759/cureus.233

    Cite this article as:

    Brewer D D. (December 09, 2014) A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema. Cureus 6(12): e233. doi:10.7759/cureus.233

    Publication history

    Received by Cureus: November 23, 2014
    Peer review began: November 23, 2014
    Peer review concluded: December 05, 2014
    Published: December 09, 2014

    Copyright

    © Copyright 2014
    Brewer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    License

    This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

The injection of autologous whole blood or serum, known as autohemotherapy, was a standard dermatologic treatment in the early 1900s. Conventional dermatologists eventually abandoned autohemotherapy due to a lack of supporting evidence, even though there had been no formal attempts to assess its effectiveness. Recently, several investigators have evaluated autohemotherapy as a treatment for urticaria and eczema. I conducted a systematic review of the literature on autohemotherapy, focusing on treatment outcomes. The available evidence indicates that autohemotherapy does not have major side effects, and that minor adverse effects are short-lived and similar in frequency to those from placebo injections. Overall, autohemotherapy tends to be somewhat more effective in reducing symptoms than control therapy across studies, although the advantage is not statistically reliable. Urticaria patients who test positive on the autologous serum skin test display a moderately better response to autohemotherapy than patients who test negative. Based on the limited evidence available, autologous whole blood and autologous serum injections appear to have similar effectiveness. Furthermore, the severity of symptoms prior to treatment is not consistently related to patients' apparent response to autohemotherapy.



Want to read more?

Create a free account to continue reading this article.

Already a member? Login.



Devon D. Brewer, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, Seattle, WA

For correspondence:
dbrewer@interscientific.net

Devon D. Brewer, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, Seattle, WA

For correspondence:
dbrewer@interscientific.net