STUDY OF THE ROLE OF SERUM FOLIC ACID IN ATOPIC DERMATITIS: A CORRELATION WITH SERUM IgE AND DISEASE SEVERITY.
BACKGROUND: Most atopic dermatitis (AD) patients have elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE). Impaired folic acid (FA) metabolism was found to reduce the intracellular methyl donor pool, associated with a higher prevalence of atopy. AIM: To assess serum IgE and FA in AD patients and to correlate their levels with the disease severity, and with each other. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients with AD were assessed for serum FA and IgE, compared with 20 age- and sex-matched controls. Patients were classified into three groups (mild, moderate, and severe AD) based on clinical severity according to Nottingham index. In both patients and controls, serum IgE was measured using Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique and serum FA was measured using Microparticle Enzyme Immunoassay technique. RESULTS: Serum FA levels were lower in AD patients compared with controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. FA levels did not show statistically significant difference among disease severity groups and did not correlate with serum IgE levels. On the other hand, serum IgE levels were significantly elevated in AD patients compared with controls, and among AD patients, its levels were significantly elevated in severe AD compared with mild and moderate disease. CONCLUSION: Serum IgE is useful in assessment of AD severity and activity. FA contribution to AD needs further investigations.