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September 1979

Association of Dermatitis Herpetiformis and Pernicious Anemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Dermatology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(9):1117. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010090059028

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic disease of uncertain, but possibly autoimmune, cause. It is characterized by symmetrically distributed clusters of papules and vesicles, most notably over the extensor surfaces of the extremities, buttocks, and shoulders.

Much has been written about the association between dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and gluten-sensitive enteropathy or celiac disease, but little has been said regarding a possible association between DH and other gastrointestinal disease. We describe herein a patient with pernicious anemia (PA) in whom DH developed after the patient had had the former disease for several years. A brief review of the literature linking the two diseases is presented.

Report of a Case  A 59-year-old man was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tucson, Ariz, in April 1965, with a macrocytic anemia. At that time, a Schilling test was performed and the patient was noted to have extremely low excretion of vitamin B12 (0.23%)

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