Dermatitis herpetiformis: the skin and the gut.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an intensely itchy, chronic, papulovesicular eruption that is usually symmetrically distributed on extensor surfaces. Histologically, it is characterized by dermal papillary collections of neutrophils and subepidermal vesicle formation. The skin has IgA deposits in areas corresponding to the earliest histopathologic change; that is, at the epidermal-dermal junction. Most patients have an associated asymptomatic gluten-sensitive enteropathy that mimics ordinary gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease) both morphologically and in its response to gluten protein. There is a marked increase in the prevalence of the major histocompatibility antigens, HLA-B8 and HLA-Dw3, and in certain B cell antigens in these patients. Although the sulfones or sulfapyridine have been the mainstay of treatment, it is now clear that the skin disease responds to strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. These findings are reviewed and from them are drawn certain conclusions as to possible pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in dermatitis herpetiformis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Katz, SI; Hall, RP; Lawley, TJ; Strober, W

Published Date

  • December 1, 1980

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 857 - 874

PubMed ID

  • 7447195

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7326/0003-4819-93-6-857


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States