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Clinical Notes
May 12, 1978

Dermatitis Herpetiformis and Celiac DiseaseAssociation With Glomerulonephritis, Hypocomplementia, and Circulating Immune Complexes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Nephrology Section, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Drs Moorthy and Zimmerman), and the Department of Otolaryngology, University of West Virginia, Morgantown (Dr Maxim).

JAMA. 1978;239(19):2019-2020. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280460087028

DERMATITIS herpetiformis is a disease of unknown cause, which is characterized by recurrent bullous eruptions of the skin often associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease). Cutaneous deposition of IgA, the presence of circulating immune complexes, and an increased incidence of histocompatibility antigen HLA-B8 as well as an association with immunologic disorders, eg, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic liver disease, cutaneous vasculitis, Addison's disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and ulcerative colitis, have led to the speculation of immunologic alterations in dermatitis herpetiformis.1 Glomerular deposition of immune complexes is a major pathogenic mechanism of mediation of injury in patients with glomerulonephritis.2

Materials and Methods  Biopsy material was processed as previously described.3 Briefly, tissue for light microscopic examination was fixed in buffered 4% formaldehyde solution (10% formalin) embedded in paraffin sectioned at 2 μ, and stained with hematoxylin