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Allergol Int. 2011 Sep;60(3):387-91. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.10-CR-0265. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Four cases of atopic dermatitis complicated by Sjögren's syndrome: link between dry skin and autoimmune anhidrosis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology Integrated Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine Osaka University, Japan.


We report four adult cases of atopic dermatitis (AD) complicated by Sjögren's syndrome (SS). The patients fulfilled diagnostic criteria for AD and SS. All cases showed persistent itchy dry skin and eczematous lesions complicated by sicca symptoms including dry eyes and dry mouth with moderate joint pain. One case manifested annular erythema and another manifested widespread discoid erythema. To investigate the underlying cause of dry skin in these cases, sweating function was evaluated using a quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test (QSART) in which the axon reflex is stimulated by acetylcholine iontophoresis. The sweating latency time was significantly prolonged in eczematous skin of AD and AD/SS compared to normal controls. Axon reflex (AXR) sweat volume was also significantly reduced in AD (normal and eczematous skin) and AD/SS (normal and eczema) compared to normal control. In contrast, the direct sweat volume of lesional or non-lesional AD skin induced by direct stimulation with acetylcholine was only slightly reduced compared to that in normal controls, but not in SS and lesional skin of AD/SS patients. These results suggest that the impaired sweat response in AD is attributable to an abnormal sudomotor axon reflex, which is accelerated and modulated when complicated by SS resulting in dry skin in the present cases.

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