New article on metal allergy and connective tissue diseases

A new article, published in January 2015 in Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, shows that patients with SLE, RA and SS have an increased frequency of metal allergy. Thirty-eight patients; 9 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 16 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 13 with Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) and a control group of 43 healthy age- and sexmatched subjects were included in the study. A detailed metal exposure history was collected by  questionnaire. Metal hypersensitivity was evaluated using LTT-MELISA. In all subjects, the main source of metal exposure was dental metal restorations. The majority of patients (87%) had a positive lymphocyte reaction to at least one metal and 63% reacted to two or more metals tested. Within the control group, 43% of healthy subjects reacted to one metal and only 18% reacted to two or more metals. The increased metal reactivity in the patient group compared with the control group was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). The most frequent allergens were nickel, mercury, gold and palladium.

Download article