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Small-intestinal mucosal abnormalities in various skin diseases—fact or fancy?
  1. Janet Marks,
  2. Sam Shuster


    Two-thirds of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis have been found to have a flat or convoluted mucosa but no special association has been found in the other dermatoses studied with structural alterations in the small bowel mucosa. The frequency distribution of the predominant and individual small intestinal mucosal features is the same in the patients in the present series with eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea as in the local control population. A predominantly convoluted mucosa has been found in the upper small intestine in 8% of these patients and in 8% of subjects without a rash. The presence of convolutions in patients with these dermatoses is merely a reflection of the incidence in the normal population of Newcastle upon Tyne. Different findings in the same skin disease in different parts of the country are explicable on the basis of variations in the normal mucosa between one geographical region and another.

    The increased incidence of a convoluted mucosa in the north east of England requires further study to determine whether it is indicative of an increased incidence of the coeliac syndrome in the region, or whether it results from a minor population difference or a local peculiarity of diet.

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