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December 1999

IgE Level and the Validation of the Diagnostic Criteria for Atopic Dermatitis—Reply

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(12):1550-a-1551. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-12-dlt1299

In reply

We thank Dr Fisher for his comment on our article.1 A raised serum IgE level is one of several diagnostic criteria for atopic dermatitis proposed by Dr Hanifin.2 Although it is a useful diagnostic tool in some instances, it is an invasive and somewhat expensive test that is not available everywhere. So it is not commonly used in routine clinical practice, especially for children who constitute most of the patients with atopic dermatitis. On the other hand, it cannot be used in large-scale, population-based studies at all. The limitations of this criterion as well as limitations of other of Hanifin's criteria3 prompted Williams et al4-6 to develop a new set of criteria for clinical diagnosis of atopic dermatitis that were validated in our study.1

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