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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 205-206

Serum zinc and copper levels and Cu: Zn ratio in psoriasis


Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Pt. J.N.M. Medical College, Raipur - 492001, C.G, India

Correspondence Address:
P K Nigam
Dermatology and Venereology, Pt. J.N.M. Medical College, Raipur - 492001, C.G
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.16242

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How to cite this article:
Nigam P K. Serum zinc and copper levels and Cu: Zn ratio in psoriasis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2005;71:205-6

How to cite this URL:
Nigam P K. Serum zinc and copper levels and Cu: Zn ratio in psoriasis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2005 [cited 2019 Jul 16];71:205-6. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?2005/71/3/205/16242


Sir,

Both zinc and copper are known to be involved in a number of cellular metabolic activities.[1] It has been established by a number of analytical and experimental observations that both zinc and copper play an essential role in the normal keratinization process of animal skin.[2]

Sixty patients of psoriasis, comprising of 34 males and 26 females, were studied. Patients with diseases known to alter the serum zinc and copper levels, pregnant women, and females taking oral contraceptives were excluded. Five ml of venous blood was collected and serum was separated. The serum zinc and copper level estimation was done by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results were compared with 20 age and sex matched normal healthy controls, mostly relatives of patients. The results were compared by applying unpaired ′t′ test.

The mean age of the patients was 31.6 + 13.18 years. The duration of psoriasis ranged from one month to 18 years (mean 4.26 + 2.44 years). The serum zinc levels in the normal healthy controls were in the range of 98-118 microgram/dl (mean 106.6 + 5.89 microgram/dl), while the serum zinc levels in patients of psoriasis were in the range of 58-96 µg/dl (mean 74.28 + 7.84 µg/dl).The serum copper levels in controls ranged from 102-126 µg/dl (mean 115.14 + 6.87 µg/dl) while in psoriasis patients it ranged from 122-160 µg/dl (mean 142.78 + 8.22 µg/dl). The difference in both the serum zinc and copper values was statistically significant ( P < 0.01) as compared to controls.

No significant change in the serum zinc and copper levels was observed among psoriatics on the basis of their age, sex, duration of disease, and involvement of joints and nails. However, patients with more than 20% body surface involvement (mean 69.66 + 8.29) and patients with a positive family history of psoriasis (mean 70.08 + 4.23 µg/dl) had significantly lower serum zinc levels than those with less than 20% body surface involvement (mean 77.81+8.03) and a negative family history of the disease (74.83+7.61 µg/dl). There was no significant difference between the serum levels of copper of psoriatics between these two groups. The mean serum copper:zinc ratio was 1.92 in psoriasis patients as compared to 1.08 in controls.

Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease with a genetic predisposition characterized by a defect in keratinization. Many workers have observed significantly low serum levels of zinc and copper in psoriatic patients,[3],[4] while others[5] have found normal levels. A significant lowering of the serum zinc concentration in psoriasis without an improvement in serum zinc levels after oral zinc therapy is also observed.[3] McMillan and Row[4] also observed that psoriatics with more than 10% body surface area had a significantly lower serum zinc concentration than those with less than 10% body surface area involvement. In our study too patients with more than 20% body surface area involvement showed a significantly decreased ( P < 0.01) serum zinc concentration than those with less than 20% body surface area involvement. An reduction in serum zinc concentration with increasing surface area involvement in psoriatics may be due to zinc depletion secondary to loss of zinc through exfoliation. An alternative possibility is that disturbance in the serum zinc status might actually be resulting in greater surface area involvement.



 
  References Top

1.Pories WJ, Mansour EG. In : Trace elements in human health and diseases. Prasad AS, D'Oberleas, editors, New York: Acad Press; 1976. p. 115.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Day C, McCollum EV. Effect of acute dietary zinc deficiency in rat. Proc Exp Biol Med 1940;45:282-7.   Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Saxena N, Sharma RP, Singh VS. A study of serum zinc and copper levels in psoriasis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1990;56:216-8.  Back to cited text no. 3    Medknow Journal  
4.McMillan C, Rowe D. Plasma zinc in psoriasis: Relationship to surface area involvement. Br J Dermatol 1983;108:301-5.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Portnoy K, Molokhia M. Zinc and copper in psoriasis. Br J Dermatol 1972;86:205-9.  Back to cited text no. 5      



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