Ophthalmologic Manifestations of Atopic Dermatitis Workup

Updated: Sep 07, 2016
  • Author: R Scott Lowery, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is usually a clinical one based on history and physical findings.

Laboratory tests that may be of use early in the diagnostic process include various types of skin testing and serum testing for elevated immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Patients with atopic dermatitis display immediate skin test reactivity and may display skin blanching to cholinergic agents.

Culture of eyes with conjunctivitis associated with atopic dermatitis usually grows Staphylococcus aureus.

Once a clinical diagnosis of atopic dermatitis has been established, lab testing is generally unnecessary.


Histologic Findings

Examination of histopathologic sections early in the disease process shows parakeratosis, hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, intercellular and intracellular fluid accumulation, and perivascular infiltration of the dermis and epidermis by lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophages. Later in the disease, observation reveals hyperkeratosis, dyskeratosis, acanthosis, and a thickened epidermis. Lysosomes have been demonstrated by electron microscopy.