Content » Vol 99, Issue 11


A Review of Cutaneous Microdialysis of Inflammatory Dermatoses

Helen Rea, Brian Kirby
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3223


Microdialysis is a minimally invasive technique to study metabolic, biochemical, and pharmacological events in tissue. Factors that influence microdialysate collection include molecular weight cutoff of the membrane, perfusion rate, perfusate viscosity, duration of collection, depth of the catheter, length of the tubing and adsorption of hydrophobic molecules to the membrane. To standardize these factors, a robust sampling protocol needs to be established. Microdialysis is applied in healthy and inflamed skin. It enables the in vivo sampling of endogenous and exogenous substances in skin’s extracellular fluid. In atopic dermatitis, levels of neuropeptides, eicosanoids and histamine pre- and post-treatment treatment have been conducted. Microdialysis in atopic skin has assessed the pharmodynamics of a number of topical drugs. In psoriatic skin, the ‘cytokine fingerprint’ has been evaluated through microdialysis and bioassays. This unique fingerprint has also been analyzed after certain pharmacological treatments for psoriasis.


This review summarises the role of microdialysis of the skin. It is a useful tool to evaluate the skin’s biological processes in both healthy and inflamed skin. It can also enable a better understanding of the mechanism of action of certain drugs in inflamed skin. The microdialysis technique still needs to be standardised so that its practice can be used in a reproducible fashion in clinical studies. It would be interesting to carry out microdialysis in subjects with the skin condition, hidradenitis suppurativa as this research has not yet been conducted.

Supplementary content


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