UNAIR scientists study the effects of leukotriene on atopic dermatitis

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Universitas Airlangga has great scientists in the health field. From FK UNAIR, many scientists contributed ideas and research findings that could be beneficials for the wider community. This time, Dr. Afif Nurul Hidayati, Dr., SpKK, FINS-DV, FAADV., conducted a study on “Effects of Leukotriene Levels on Atopic Dermatitis”.

In her research presentation, she said that atopic dermatitis (DA) is an inflammatory skin disease that is chronic residive. The prevalence of DA, she explained, in children around the world reaches 15-20% while the prevalence in adults is 1-3%, and both continue to increase from year to year. DA, she continued, is still a significant problem in the field of dermatology until now.

“That is, because it can cause itching that results in reduced sleep time, disrupts the quality of life of patients, and costs time and money for disease treatment,” she said.

Meanwhile, she continued, Leukotrienes (LT) or an inflammatory mediator of the arachidonic acid phospholipid derivatives have been investigated for their role in the pathogenesis of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and DA (atopic trias). One class of LT, she explained, is Cysteinyl LT (CysLT) consisting of Leukotrien C4 (LTC4), Leukotrien D4 (LTD4), and Leukotrien E4 (LTE4) which are potent inflammatory mediators.

“CysLT production increases with inflammation in the atopy process, reflecting activation of mast cells and eosinophils in lesion tissue,” she said.

Furthermore, Dr. Afif Nurul also explained that in her research she used a descriptive cross-sectional design to measure U-LTE4 levels at various degrees of severity from DA patients based on the SCORAD index. Meanwhile, the research subjects were all DA patients who came for medical treatment at the Dermatology and Venereology Outpatient Unit of Dr. Soetomo Hosspital Surabaya, and was taken consecutively for a period of 4 months (April 2017-July 2017).

“Patients were diagnosed based on Williams criteria through history taking, clinical examination, and the severity of the DA was determined using the SCORAD index,” she said.

In the end, the study proved that the heavier the severity of DA, the average U-LTE4 levels would increase. Increased U-LTE4 production, she said, could be caused by an increase in immune cells that produce Cys-LT, mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, and macrophages.

“Current evidence supports that LT plays an important role in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis, by causing smooth muscle contraction, interfering with mucociliary clearance, increasing mucus secretion, attracting eosinophils into the airways, and increasing vascular permeability, causing edema,” she concluded.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia



Pratamasari, M., Hoetomo, M. M., & Hidayati, A. (2019). Urinary leukotriene e4 level profile in various degrees of severity in atopic dermatitis patients in dermatovenereology outpatient clinic Dr. Soetomo General Hospital, Surabaya: A descriptive study. Dermatology Reports11(1s). 

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