Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects infants, children, and adults with a wide degree of severity; several scoring systems have been used in trials and clinical practice. Infants and young children have a typical distribution of the lesions, but a correlation among skin surface involvement, intensity and subjective symptoms has not been reported in age groups.
Aims of the study: To evaluate the clinical features of AD in infants and young children, by using the SCORAD index. A simplified scoring method for clinical practice is also discussed.
Methods: The SCORAD index was assessed in 63 infants and young children with AD [mean age (+/-SD) 17.5 +/- 11.15 months]; the single parameters of the index were evaluated, and compared with each other. Serum eosinophil cationic protein (s-ECP) and urinary eosinophil protein X (u-EPX) levels were determined and correlated with the SCORAD index.
Results: The presence of erythema, edema/papulation, and oozing/crust was significantly high in these patients. A strong positive correlation resulted among the three SCORAD index parameters (extent-intensity: P <0.001; extent-subjective symptoms: P <0.001; intensity-subjective symptoms: P <0.001). S-ECP and u-EPX levels positively correlated to almost every single parameter of the SCORAD index as well as to its total.
Conclusions: Distinctive intensity items were found in infants and young children with AD. A strong correlation resulted among the extent, intensity, and subjective symptoms; each of the three parameters was positively correlated with the total SCORAD. Immunologic parameters positively correlated to each of the SCORAD index items, which remains the gold standard for assessing disease severity in clinical trials.