Using diagnostic criteria which are currently accepted as most reliable we have found that 19% (9/47) of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) have no evidence of coeliac disease. The incidence of HL-A8 in the DH patients was 78%, which is considerably greater than that in healthy controls and no different from that reported in coeliac disease. Furthermore, the incidence of HL-A8 was just as much increased in those DH patients without evidence of coeliac disease suggesting that HL-A8 is associated with DH per se--that is, regardless of its association with coeliac disease.
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