Gastrointestinal disorders in children with atopic dermatitis

Medicina (Kaunas). 2005;41(10):837-45.
[Article in English, Lithuanian]


The aims of this study were to analyze the peculiarities of allergies to food; to determine gastrointestinal disorders, endoscopic signs of mucosal damage and histological lesions of the mucosa and to establish their relation to the extent of atopic dermatitis and its degree of severity.

Material and methods: A total of 164 children (86 boys and 78 girls) suffering only from atopic dermatitis were examined. Atopic dermatitis was diagnosed using standard diagnostic criteria; extent of disease (the Basic Clinical Scoring System (BCSS)) and the severity (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index), total serum IgE levels were determined; skin prick and patch tests with the main food allergens were performed. Using questionnaire gastrointestinal disorders with the symptoms of atopic dermatitis were ascertained. In children with atopic dermatitis suffering from chronic dyspepsia esophagealgastroduodenoscopy was performed and biopsy samples from the antrum of the stomach and duodenum were taken.

Results: The age of patients ranged from 6 months to 18 years. According to extent of atopic dermatitis and degree of severity localized, mild atopic dermatitis prevailed. Analysis of the changes in total Ig E levels showed different degree of sensitization of the children examined. Considering the type of allergic reaction, immediate-type allergic reactions dominated only in 11.6% of children with atopic dermatitis, whereas delayed-type allergic reactions manifested in 44.5% of children. No food allergy was present in one-fifth of children with atopic dermatitis. One hundred four (63.4%) children complained of gastrointestinal disorders. Of these 104 patients, 17 children (mean age 6.9 years) who underwent esophagealgastroduodenoscopy with biopsy had no pathology; however, histological examination of mucosa revealed eosinophilic infiltration in the gastric antrum and duodenum in three children.

Conclusions: The most common gastrointestinal disorders are: abdominal pain vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal distention, and constipation. The incidence of gastrointestinal disorders does not depend on the extent and severity of atopic dermatitis. Gastrointestinal disorders manifest independent of the type of allergic reactions inducing atopic dermatitis. The most common food allergens, such as soy, milk, peanuts, corn, carrots, rye, wheat, white of the egg, cod, and chicken were determined by skin patch test. According to our data, no pathology was found in children with atopic dermatitis during endoscopic examination. Our data showed that allergic-like changes in gastric and duodenal mucosa were present only in older (7-10-year-old) children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Allergens
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Dyspepsia / etiology
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pyloric Antrum / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E