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Skin Therapy Lett. 2004 Feb;9(2):1-5.

The treatment of atopic dermatitis and other dermatoses with leukotriene antagonists.

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Faculty of Medicine, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronically relapsing eczematous disorder of the skin that occurs in persons of all ages but is more common in children. AD is associated with other atopic diseases such as allergic rhinoconjuntivitis or bronchial asthma. Nearly 80% of children with AD eventually develop allergic rhinitis or asthma. AD can be classified as mixed (cases associated with respiratory allergies) and pure . Pure AD has intrinsic and extrinsic variants. In the extrinsic type, interleukin-4 is secreted by T-cells isolated from spontaneous lesions and skin-derived T-lymphocytes express more IL-13. Due to the different immunopathogenesis, it has been suggested that antileukotriene agents may be more successful in the treatment of the extrinsic subgroup. Leukotrienes (LTs) are a class of potent biological inflammatory mediators derived from arachidonic acid through the 5-lipoxygenase pathway. There is evidence of enhanced LT production in the pathogenesis of AD. Evidence in the literature provides a pathophysiological rationale for the use of cysLT receptor blockers in the treatment of AD. However, the exact mechanism of action of leukotriene receptor antagonists in AD is not known. In small clinical and case studies, montelukast was found to be a safe and effective alternative or steroid-sparing therapy in the management of patients with atopic dermatitis.

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