Clinical and experimental studies in nickel allergy

University dissertation from Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University Hospital, S-20502 Malmö, Sweden

Abstract: Kliniska och experimentella studier av nickelallergi Nickelallergi är vanligt, särskilt hos kvinnor. Nickelallergi leder ofta till periodiskt eller kroniskt eksem, främst på händerna. Dessa eksem kan vara svårläkta och leda till långa sjukskrivningsperioder. Nickel finns överallt i omgivningen och det går inte att helt undvika exposition för denna metall. Clinical and experimental studies in nickel allergy Contact allergy to nickel is very common among females and frequently leads to recurrent or chronic hand eczema, which often is hard to treat and leads to long sick-leave periods. Nickel is ubiquitous and total avoidance of exposure to the allergen is impossible. The aim of the present study was to get better understanding of various factors of possible significance for allergic contact dermatitis from nickel. A large inter- and intraindividual variation in nickel patch test reactivity was found in nickel-hypersensitive persons. Thus, no one had the same reactivity at repeated testing, and also completely negative tests were seen. A previous dermatitis was shown to be important for the elicitation of allergic contact dermatitis from nickel on topical nickel exposure. A previous nickel dermatitis gave an increased reactivity while a previous, irritant (SLS) contact dermatitis gave a decreased reactivity. The time interval from the previous allergic or irritant contact dermatitis was important for reactivity. Flare-up reactions after oral challenge with nickel were found to be correlated to nickel dose, intensity of a previous eczema, and time after the eczema. Orally administered nickel results in increased nickel in urine and less increase of nickel in faeces in atopics compared to controls. This may indicate increased nickel absorption in atopics. There was also a positive correlation between nickel in urine and TIBC in atopics which may indicate an interesting therapeutic possibility to interfere with the nickel absorption.

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