• Dupuytren's contracture;
  • chronic liver disease;
  • IgA immune complexes

ABSTRACT— Contrary to previous reports, Dupuytren's contracture was found to be equally common in patients with alcoholic and non-alcoholic biopsy-proven liver disease (25% v 28%). Furthermore, in 69 patients with Dupuytren's contracture referred for surgical correction, there was no significant increase in either history of alcohol abuse or abnormality of liver function compared to a matched control group. Patients with Dupuytren's contracture were found to have increased levels of circulating IgA immune complexes compared to those without (p<0.05 for those with liver disease; p<0.001 for those awaiting surgical correction). Circulating immunoglobulins and immune complexes of other classes were similar between the groups with and without Dupuytren's contracture. These results suggest that the importance of alcohol has previously been exaggerated but that IgA immune complexes may be involved in the pathogenesis of the condition.