Effectiveness, side-effects and period of remission after treatment with methotrexate in localized scleroderma and related sclerotic skin diseases: an inception cohort study.
until further notice
SourceBritish Journal of Dermatology, 160, 5, (2009), pp. 1075-82
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Hematology
British Journal of Dermatology
SubjectN4i 4: Auto-immunity, transplantation and immunotherapy; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; ONCOL 3: Translational research
BACKGROUND: Detailed information is lacking on effectiveness of methotrexate (MTX) in sclerotic skin diseases, side-effects, and duration of remission after discontinuation. OBJECTIVES: To determine effectiveness, side-effects and period of remission gained by use of MTX in sclerotic skin diseases. METHODS: All patients with a sclerotic skin disease who were treated with MTX (group A) or MTX with corticosteroids (CS) (group B) between 1995 and 2007 were evaluated. Detailed information was collected on dosage and duration of MTX treatment, concomitant immunosuppressive medication and CS treatment, effectiveness, side-effects, duration of the remission period, and time until restart. RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients (A, n = 47; B, n = 11) were evaluated. Clinical assessment revealed that 38 patients (81%) treated with MTX and 11 patients (100%) treated with MTX + CS showed improvement of sclerotic skin. After one treatment course 51% of the patients treated with MTX and 73% treated with MTX + CS reached remission status with a median follow-up time of 55 and 58 months. Patients showing relapse still responded to a second and even to a third course of MTX. Patients who showed a relapse had received a lower cumulative dose, due to a shorter period of treatment with MTX in the first course. Serious side-effects were seen in six patients (10%). CONCLUSIONS: MTX was an effective treatment for various sclerotic skin diseases with a long period of remission and relatively low toxicity. Patients showing relapse still responded to a second and third course of MTX.
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