The association of keratoconus and atopic disease has been reported on several occasions but the only controlled clinical study that has so far been published found no evidence to support this view. Since it is now known that atopy is often associated with changes in various immunoglobulins, particularly IgE, it was considered desirable to determine the immunological profiles of a large series of keratoconus cases in order to seek evidence for coexistence of the two conditions in one individual. In this study of 182 cases of keratoconus a definite history of atopy was found in 35% compared with 12% in the matched control group. The serum IgE was significantly raised (P less than 0.001) in keratoconus and markedly so in those cases with associated atopic disease. Serum levels of IgG and IgM were also raised, but contrary to the findings of other observers IgA levels were normal. These findings suggest that atopic traits are more common in patients with keratoconus than in general ophthalmic patients.
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