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December 1973

IgE Levels in Atopic Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn

From the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester Minn.

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(6):806-811. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620270032008

Fifty-eight patients with a clinical diagnosis of atopic dermatitis were evaluated. Serum IgE levels, measured by a double antibody radioimmunossay, varied from 2 to 46,560 ng/ml in 55 patients (mean, 6,793 ng/ml median, 2,639 ng/ml). The three other patients had extremely high IgE values (77,704, 101,663, and 156,444 ng/ml). Three patients with atopic dermatitis had subnormal serum IgE levels and may represent a distinctive subgroup that should be studied further. Statistical analysis by nonparametric methods showed significant correlation of the serum IgE level with the extent of skin involvement. The ``atopic index," defined as the ratio of the number of positive intradermal skin tests to the number administered, and the intensity of the delayed blanch phenomenon also correlated significantly with IgE level. There was no correlation between IgE level and the subjective assessment of severity of dermatitis.