From the Literature: Atopic Dermatitis

Review the recently published results of three studies that looked at atopic dermatitis in clinical practice.

The Self-Administered Eczema Area and Severity Index in Children with Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis: Better Estimation of AD Body Surface Area than SeverityJournal: Pediatric Dermatology (September/October 2010)

Authors: Van Velsen SG, Knol MJ, Haeck IM, et al.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation of the Self-Administered Eczema Area and Severity Index (SA-EASI) with two physician-based disease activity scores (objective SCORAD and SASSAD score) and with Thymus and Activation-Regulated Cytokine (TARC), a serum marker for AD, in children with the disease.

Results: The association between the SA-EASI and the objective SCORAD was found to be high, “mainly based on high correlation between the body surface area (BSA) measurements of both scores.” It was concluded that educating parents in the severity scoring of AD “may improve agreement of the SA-EASI and the objective SCORAD, TARC, and SASSAD score, and that additional use of the SA-EASI in routine clinical practice may “facilitate more frequent but still accurate assessment of AD.”

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Eczema Prevalence in the United States: Data from the 2003 National Survey of Children's HealthJournal: Journal of Investigative Dermatology (September 2010)

Authors: Shaw TE, Currie GP, Koudelka CW, Simpson EL

Purpose: To determine, using data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health, the national prevalence of eczema in the US pediatric population, and to further examine geographic and demographic associations previously reported in other countries.

Results: Researchers found that overall, 10.7% of children were diagnosed with eczema in the past year, with the prevalence ranging from 8.7 to 18.1% between states and districts. Metropolitan living, black race, and educational level were found to be significant factors in predicting higher disease prevalence. “The wide range of prevalence suggests that social or environmental factors may influence disease expression,” they wrote.

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The Safety and Efficacy of Tacrolimus Ointment in Pediatric Patients with Atopic DermatitisJournal: Pediatric Dermatology (July 2010)

Authors: McCollum AD, Paik A, Eichenfield LF

Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of long-term use of tacrolimus ointment, a treatment approved for patients aged two years and older that has been proven effective for short-term relief of symptoms in pediatric patients with AD.

Results: Tacrolimus was found to have “a low potential for systemic accumulation, and analysis of long-term studies indicates that it has a good safety profile. Treatment with tacrolimus, alone or in combination with topical corticosteroids for acute flares, may be a useful option for long-term management of AD in pediatric patients.”

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