Long-term follow-up of dermatitis herpetiformis in children

E. Ermacora, L. Prampolini, G. Tribbia, G. Pezzoli, C. Gelmetti, G. Cucchi, A. Tettamanti, A. Giunta, F. Gianotti

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Dermatitis herpetiformis was diagnosed in seventy-six children by its clinical features and be detection of granular IgA deposits in the papillary dermis of perilesional skin. Enteric alterations demonstrated by measurements of D-xylose absorption and by small intestinal biopsies were detected in over 90% of all patients. A complete follow-up was obtained for all children who were followed for 3 to 10 years. Treatment with a gluten-free diet alone led to a reversal of the intestinal abnormality in 100% of our children and to the disappearance of cutaneous lesions in 82% of reported cases. This suggests that a complete remission of symptoms can be obtained with a gluten-free diet alone. Dapsone alone is effective therapy for the rash but does not affect the intestinal alterations. Furthermore, the lack of side effects to dietetic therapy for a long period of time makes the diet the treatment of choice in this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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