Systemic Treatment of Recalcitrant Pediatric Psoriasis: A Case Series and Literature Review
August 2015 | Volume 14 | Issue 8 | Original Article | 881 | Copyright © August 2015
Caren Garber BA,a,b Malcolm Creighton-Smith BA,a,b Eric P Sorensen BS,a Nicole Dumont,a
Alice B. Gottlieb MD PhDa,b
aDepartment of Dermatology Research, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA bTufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
METHODS: In this case series, data were collected on patients ≤ 18 years old with moderate-to-severe psoriasis treated with systemic medications (traditional systemic drugs or biologics) from 2008 through 2014. Efficacy was measured using the validated simple measure for assessing psoriasis activity (S-MAPA), and the product of the body surface area and Physician Global Assessment.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients aged 5 to 18 years were eligible, and 56 treatment courses were analyzed. Methotrexate (MTX) was the most frequently prescribed systemic (70%), followed by etanercept (59%). Clearance rates were highest on biologic medications (67% for etanercept and adalimumab, 33% for ustekinumab). Phototherapy, cyclosporine, and MTX were less effective in clearing psoriasis, although they were successful in improving S-MAPA ≥ 50% from baseline 100%, 67%, and 36% of the time, respectively. The most common adverse events were sunburn for patients on narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy (14%), gastrointestinal intolerance and minor infections for patients on MTX (16% each), and minor infections for patients on etanercept (25%) and adalimumab (33%). The most common reasons for discontinuation were secondary failure (38% for etanercept, 33% for adalimumab) or lack of response (37% for MTX, 33% for cyclosporine).
CONCLUSION: Although phototherapy, MTX, and cyclosporine are effective for controlling resistant pediatric psoriasis, concerns about long-term safety or inconvenience have led people to consider biologics in their place. However, there is a lack of literature on the use of biologics in pediatric psoriasis. These cases attest to the safety and efficacy of etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab in pediatric psoriasis, expanding the treatment repertoire and guiding dermatologists in better managing recalcitrant pediatric psoriasis.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(8):881-886.