Japanese Cedar Pollen as an Exacerbation Factor in Atopic Dermatitis: Results of Atopy Patch Testing and Histological Examination
Hiroo Yokozeki, Kaoru Takayama, Ichiro Katayama, Kiyoshi Nishioka
Atopy patch testing with Japanese cedar pollen extract has been used to investigate patients with atopic dermatitis whose condition is exacerbated by contact with Japanese cedar pollen. Comparative atopy patch testing, scratch tests, and assays for total IgE and specific IgE were performed in 74 patients with atopic dermatitis, 5 patients with Japanese cedar pollinosis and 15 control subjects. A skin biopsy was performed on any sites that were positive to Japanese cedar pollen patch test. The results after 48 h of atopy patch testing were compared with the patient’s history, skin scratch test and specific IgE. Twenty-two of the 74 patients (30%) had a history of exacerbation every spring after contact with Japanese cedar. Of these patients 68% showed a positive reaction to Japanese cedar pollen extract, as did 21% of patients with atopic dermatitis without a history of exacerbation by Japanese cedar pollen, 20% of patients with Japanese cedar pollinosis without eruption and 7% of control subjects. A histological examination revealed eczematous changes and infiltration of lymphocytes and eosinophils in atopy patch testing positive sites. In conclusion, atopy patch testing with Japanese cedar pollen extract is a useful method for investigating trigger factors for eczematous skin lesions in a subgroup of patients with atopic dermatitis.