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Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2003 Mar-Apr;16(2):117-22.

Stereochemical considerations on concomitant allergic contact dermatitis to ester of the cis-trans isomeric compounds maleic acid and fumaric acid.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Allergic contact dermatitis from esters of fumaric acid or esters of maleic acid is rare. The case of a chemist with allergic reactions to esters both of fumaric acid and of maleic acid is presented. Extremely high sensitivity of the patient to diethyl fumarate was noted. The formation of identical complete antigens from esters of these two cis-trans isomeric acids may be an explanation of the patient's double allergy. This is discussed from a stereochemical point of view. These stereochemical considerations point to a general mechanism where cis-trans isomeric alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl compounds are converted into the same complete antigen.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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