Papers And Originals

Results of treatment of dermatitis herpetiformis with a gluten-free diet after one year

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 27 December 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:772
  1. R. Marks,
  2. M. W. Whittle


    Twenty-one patients with dermatitis herpetiformis initially controlled by dapsone or sulphonamides have been treated with a gluten-free diet and reassessed at intervals for up to 15 months (mean 11·9 months). According to routine histological and dissecting microscope criteria the small-bowel lesion improved in 10, but when mean epithelial cell height was used as a measure 15 patients improved. Five of the patients with diarrhoea improved after withdrawing gluten from the diet but none reverted to completely normal bowel habit. The tests for malabsorption showed little improvement in the treatment period. Twelve patients needed less dapsone to control their skin complaint, the mean dose falling from 144 mg. to a mean of 70 mg. per day; of these three stopped using this drug altogether.