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June 1966

The Small Intestine in Skin Diseases

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, The London Hospital, London, (Dr. Fry); the Department of Dermatology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne (Professor Shuster); and the Department of Anatomy, King's College, London, WC 2 (Dr. McMinn).

Arch Dermatol. 1966;93(6):647-653. doi:10.1001/archderm.1966.01600240013002

Intestinal biopsies were taken from 16 patients with eczema, three with psoriasis, four with ichthyosis vulgaris, six with Brocq's ichthyosiform erythrodermia, and three with acrodermatitis enteropathica. The patients with eczema were chosen because of extent, chronicity, and pigmentation, and those with psoriasis and ichthyosis vulgaris wre chosen at random. One of the patients with eczema had a flat jejunal mucosa with steatorrhea. The eczema improved while on a gluten-free diet (six-month follow-up). Infiltration with eosinophil polymorphonuclear cells was found in the small intestine of patients with atopic eczema and psoriasis. Some of the patients with ichthyosis and acrodermatitis showed a histochemical decrease of succinic dehydrogenase in the intestinal epithelial cells, suggesting some alteration in their metabolic activity, and in one girl with Brocq's erythrodermia the villi were abnormal.

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