Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a heterogeneous disease. Thus, it is difficult to set up standard diagnostic criteria covering the entire spectrum of AD patients. The objective was to study AD’s epidemiologic characteristics in Tunisia and evaluate five diagnostic criteria (Hanifin and Rajka, Williams, Taieb, and Boralevi, REACH and ISAAC questionnaire). This prospective case‐control study was carried out in our Dermatology Department in Tunisia. The researchers collected the cases and controls between January 3, 2017, and January 2, 2018.
The researchers have collected 101 patients with AD and 101 controls. Patients and controls were comparable by age and gender. The mean age of patients was 9 years and 9 months with a sex ratio of 1.02. Children accounted for more than half of the patients (61.39%). The sensitivity and specificity of the criteria were, respectively: 90.1% and 90.1% for the Hanifin and Rajka criteria, 53.47% and 96.04% for the Williams criteria, 62.50% and 92.3% for the Taieb and Boralevi criteria, 41.58% and 92.08% for ISAAC questionnaire, 49.5% and 91.09% for REACH questionnaire. A new version of AD diagnostic criteria has been proposed. By applying these new criteria retrospectively to our patients, the sensitivity rises to 90.1%. The latest version of AD criteria is a practical diagnostic tool compared to the Hanifin and Rajka criteria. It seems to correct the problem of the low sensitivity of the Williams criteria.