AbstractBlood samples were collected from 48 atopic eczema patients and 33 normal subjects in Bristol, and from 434 normal individuals worldwide. In the plasma phospholipids in the atopic eczema patients, the concentrations of linoleic acid and the ratio of linoleic acid to its metabolites were significantly elevated as compared with both sets of controls. In the atopic eczema patients there were major abnormalities in the red cell phospholipids with saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids being significantly elevated and the concentrations of most essential fatty acids being significantly reduced. Patients with atopic eczema thus show abnormalities related both to desaturation of essential fatty acids and to their incorporation into red cell membranes.
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