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Demodex Mite Density Determinations by Standardized Skin Surface Biopsy and Direct Microscopic Examination and Their Relations with Clinical Types and Distribution Patterns.

Ann Dermatol. 2017 Apr;29(2):137-142

Authors: Yun CH, Yun JH, Baek JO, Roh JY, Lee JR

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Demodicosis is a parasitic skin disease caused by Demodex mites, and the determination of mite density per square centimeter is important to diagnose demodicosis. Standardized skin surface biopsy (SSSB) and direct microscopic examination (DME) are commonly used to determine Demodex mites density (Dd). However, no study has previously compared these two methods with respect to clinical types and distribution patterns of demodicosis.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the value of SSSB and DME findings in reference to the clinical types and distribution patterns of demodicosis.
METHODS: The medical records of 35 patients diagnosed with demodicosis between December 2011 and June 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Demodicosis was classified according to four clinical types (pityriasis folliculorum, rosacea type, acne type, and perioral type) and three distribution patterns (diffuse pattern, U-zone pattern, and T-zone pattern). Two samples, one for SSSB and one for DME, were obtained from a lesion of each patient.
RESULTS: In all patients, mean Dd and the proportion with a high Dd (>5D/cm(2)) by DME (14.5±3.3, 80.0%, respectively) were higher than by SSSB (5.5±1.3, 37.1%, respectively; p<0.01, p=0.02, respectively). In terms of clinical types, for rosacea type, mean Dd and proportion with a high Dd by DME (12.4±3.5, 84.6%, respectively) were significantly greater than those determined by SSSB (3.6±1.2, 23.1%; p=0.04, p=0.04, respectively). In terms of distribution pattern, for the diffuse pattern, mean Dd and the proportion with a high Dd by DME (17.5±3.7, 100%, respectively) were significantly higher than those determined by SSSB (6.0±2.7, 26.7%; p<0.01, p<0.01, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The results of our study revealed that DME is a more sensitive method for detecting Demodex than SSSB, especially in patients with diffuse pattern and suspected rosacea type. Further research is needed to confirm this finding.

PMID: 28392639 [PubMed]

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