PETER N. FOSTER, B.M., B.CH.
To the editor: Cunningham and Zone (1) have recently reported a significant but unexplained association between clinical thyroid disease, thyroid autoantibodies, and dermatitis herpetiformis. The authors postulate an immunogenetic predisposition to the development of these abnormalities and mention the increased prevalence of HLA-B8 and HLA-DRw3 in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and those with autoimmune thyroid disease. The authors do not appear to have considered the possible role of associated splenic atrophy, which occurs in up to one third of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (2), in the development of these autoimmune findings. Splenic atrophy is associated with an increased frequency of
FOSTER PN. Thyroid Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and Splenic Atrophy. Ann Intern Med. ;103:157. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-1-157_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(1):157.
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