Background: Psoriasis vulgaris is a common skin disease afflicting 1-3% of the American population. Its pathogenesis remains unknown despite concerted research efforts. Our purpose was to study baseline serum nickel concentrations in psoriasis vulgaris subjects and in healthy control subjects.
Methods: Sixteen psoriasis vulgaris subjects with active disease (in 14 of moderate to marked severity), and 11 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were studied. Serum nickel determinations were performed using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry (ETAAS).
Results: Despite the relatively small sample size, significant elevation of mean serum nickel concentration was found in the psoriasis group compared to the control group (P = 0.019).
Conclusions: Recognition of abnormal nickel homeostasis could point the way to greater understanding of the primary biochemical defect in the psoriatic process. Alternatively, this finding may mark an association without pathogenic significance. Further investigation is needed.