Five of 33 patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) were found to have gastric parietal cell antibody in their sera, whereas it was not found in 30 healthy controls of comparable age distribution. Fifteen of the patients with DH underwent further studies to investigate the histological and functional state of their gastric mucosa. Atrophic gastritis was found in all five patients whose sera contained gastric parietal cell antibody and in three of 11 patients with no antibody in their sera. In addition, there was marked impairment of acid secretion in the DH group as a whole, but, apart from one patient with overt pernicious anaemia (PA), there was no evidence of malabsorption of B12.
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