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The Pathogenesis of the Atopic Eczema/Dermatitis Syndrome

  • N. Novak
  • T. Bieber

Abstract

Substantial progress has been made in elucidating the immunoallergic mechanisms underlying the cutaneous inflammatory reaction in atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS). AEDS is a chronic inflammatory skin disease clinically and histologically very similar to allergic contact dermatitis. Hence, immunoallergic events are assumed to be pivotal in this condition. However, the exact mechanisms remain elusive, even though, thanks to modern immunology and molecular biology, some progress has been made in unravelling the pathophysiology of this complex disease (Fig. 2.1). Based on clinical observations and concomitant allergological investigations, it has been proposed that AEDS can be subdivided into two distinct forms: the extrinsic form/allergic form, occurring in the context of elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and sensitisation towards environmental allergens; and the intrinsic form/non-allergic form, occurring in the absence of any typical sensitisation. While the pathophysiology of the intrinsic/non-allergic form remains a black box, more progress has been made in understanding the extrinsic/allergic form. Thus, since IgE plays a major role in other atopic diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, it is assumed that in the extrinsic/allergic form as well, IgE mediates the specificity of the inflammatory condition in the skin.

Keywords

Atopic Dermatitis Atopic Dermatitis Patient Atopy Patch Test Mast Cell Chymase Skin Immune System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Novak
  • T. Bieber

There are no affiliations available

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