Etanercept in Therapy Multiresistant Overlapping Pityriasis Lichenoides

October 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 10 | Case Reports | 990 | Copyright © October 2008

A.F. Nikkels MD PhD, P. Gillard MD, G.E. Pierard MD PhD

Introduction: Pityriasis lichenoides (PL) exhibits a protean clinical presentation, particularly in its overlapping form (OPL) combin- ing aspects of the acute and chronic types. Some patients are drug multiresistant and pose a therapeutic dilemma. The anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α agent etanercept, was recently introduced as an alternative treatment for psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Case Report: A 65-year-old woman suffered from an overlapping form of pityriasis lichenoides (OPL) for 5 years. Several initial acute episodes were controlled by successive courses of oral antibiotics, topical corticosteroids, and/or psoralen ultraviolet light-A (PUVA) therapy. The disease progressively evolved to a more chronic form. Topical immune response modifiers and corticosteroids, as well as PUVA, ultraviolet light-B (UVB), methotrexate, dapsone, and cyclosporine were introduced, but all proved ineffective. Due to the therapy multiresistance, 2 weekly injections of etanercept were administered. After 2 months, a marked improvement was observed in regards to the patient’s pruritus and inflammation. No treatment-related adverse effects were observed. Therapy was continued for 4 months without any new lesion development. However, 1 month after stopping treatment new OPL lesions recurred.
Conclusion: At the time of publication, this is the first report of the effectiveness of etanercept in OPL. This drug might be consid- ered as a therapeutic alternative for treatment multiresistant OPL.