Background: Childhood atopic dermatitis (AD) is classically accepted as initial finding of atopic march; however, nonatopic cases do not follow this course. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics and prognosis of AD in childhood in Turkey.
Methods: The study included 531 children with AD that presented to pediatric allergy departments in 11 different regions of Turkey. Age at diagnosis, total serum and inhalant-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and allergen skin prick test results were recorded retrospectively. Clinical characteristics like additional allergic diseases at presentation or during follow-up were recorded as well as duration of follow-up.
Results: Mean age at diagnosis was 37.8 +/- 36.2 months. Mean IgE level was 318.3 +/- 677.8 IU/ml (median 100 IU/ml). Skin prick tests yielded positive results in 47% of children. At presentation, 31.6% of children reported additional allergic disease, while 11.7% developed allergic disease during follow-up. Among all, 46.6% had additional allergic disease at any point. IgE levels were significantly higher in children with additional allergic diseases (p = 0.001). Allergen skin prick test positivity and family history of allergic diseases increased the risk of additional allergic diseases significantly (OR = 3.90, 95% CI = 2.3-6.6 and OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.3-2.8, respectively).
Conclusions: Allergic sensitization is not present in all cases of AD. Coexistence of additional allergic diseases is not as high as expected but more common in children who have been demonstrated to have atopic sensitization with high IgE levels and allergen skin prick test positivity.
Copyright 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.