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Electrical impedance spectroscopy for the characterization of skin barrier in atopic dermatitis


Abstract

Background

Allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD) are strongly associated with an impairment of the epithelial barrier, in which tight junctions and/or filaggrin expression can be defective. Skin barrier assessment shows potential to be clinically useful for prediction of disease development, improved and earlier diagnosis, lesion follow-up, and therapy evaluation. This study aimed to establish a method to directly assess the in vivo status of epithelial barrier using electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).
Methods

Thirty-six patients with AD were followed during their 3-week hospitalization and compared with 28 controls. EIS and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were measured in lesional and non-lesional skin. Targeted proteomics by proximity extension assay in serum and whole-genome sequence were performed.
Results

Electrical impedance spectroscopy was able to assess epithelial barrier integrity, differentiate between patients and controls without AD, and characterize lesional and non-lesional skin of patients. It showed a significant negative correlation with TEWL, but a higher sensitivity to discriminate non-lesional atopic skin from controls. During hospitalization, lesions reported a significant increase in EIS that correlated with healing, decreased SCORAD and itch scores. Additionally, EIS showed a significant inverse correlation with serum biomarkers associated with inflammatory pathways that may affect the epithelial barrier, particularly chemokines such as CCL13, CCL3, CCL7, and CXCL8 and other cytokines, such as IRAK1, IRAK4, and FG2, which were significantly high at admission. Furthermore, filaggrin copy numbers significantly correlated with EIS on non-lesional skin of patients.
Conclusions

Electrical impedance spectroscopy can be a useful tool to detect skin barrier dysfunction in vivo, valuable for the assessment of AD severity, progression, and therapy efficacy.

Abstract

Background

Allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD) are strongly associated with an impairment of the epithelial barrier, in which tight junctions and/or filaggrin expression can be defective. Skin barrier assessment shows potential to be clinically useful for prediction of disease development, improved and earlier diagnosis, lesion follow-up, and therapy evaluation. This study aimed to establish a method to directly assess the in vivo status of epithelial barrier using electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).
Methods

Thirty-six patients with AD were followed during their 3-week hospitalization and compared with 28 controls. EIS and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were measured in lesional and non-lesional skin. Targeted proteomics by proximity extension assay in serum and whole-genome sequence were performed.
Results

Electrical impedance spectroscopy was able to assess epithelial barrier integrity, differentiate between patients and controls without AD, and characterize lesional and non-lesional skin of patients. It showed a significant negative correlation with TEWL, but a higher sensitivity to discriminate non-lesional atopic skin from controls. During hospitalization, lesions reported a significant increase in EIS that correlated with healing, decreased SCORAD and itch scores. Additionally, EIS showed a significant inverse correlation with serum biomarkers associated with inflammatory pathways that may affect the epithelial barrier, particularly chemokines such as CCL13, CCL3, CCL7, and CXCL8 and other cytokines, such as IRAK1, IRAK4, and FG2, which were significantly high at admission. Furthermore, filaggrin copy numbers significantly correlated with EIS on non-lesional skin of patients.
Conclusions

Electrical impedance spectroscopy can be a useful tool to detect skin barrier dysfunction in vivo, valuable for the assessment of AD severity, progression, and therapy efficacy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Functional Genomics Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Life Sciences > Immunology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Immunology, Immunology and Allergy
Language:English
Date:1 October 2021
Deposited On:23 Nov 2021 14:56
Last Modified:27 Jan 2024 02:43
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0105-4538
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/all.14842
PubMed ID:33830511