Oral Calcitriol: A New Therapeutic Agent In Cutaneous Lichen Scerosis

February 2003 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 | Original Article | 28 | Copyright © February 2003

S. Ronger, MD; A.M .Villard, MD; F. Meunier-Mure, MD; B. Balme, MD and L. Thoma., MD

Background: Lichen sclerosus remains an elusive disease with an uncertain relationship to morphea and scleroderma. The disorder has been difficult to treat, with no consistent and reproducible efficacious therapy. Recently, a beneficial effect of treatment with oral calcitriol (1-25 dihydroxyvitamin D3) in patients with scleroderma or morphea was described. This fact could be ascribed to the immunomodulatory effects of calcitriol observed in vitro and to inhibition of fibroblastic growth. Because of the success of calcitriol in localized scleroderma, we attempted this therapy in a patient with LS.
Observation: One patient with cutaneous generalized LS resistant to different therapeutics was treated with calcitriol in an oral daily dose of 0.5 mcg. After 6 months of treatment, the skin extensibility increased, and the lesions improved. The improvement persisted after discontinuation of therapy during a follow-up period of one year. The only side effect was hypercalciuria, which resolved with dose reduction.
Conclusion: Calcitriol has shown a beneficial effect in scleroderma and morphea during open studies. A case is reported of a patient with LS who had a dramatic response to calcitriol. Double blind, placebo-con trolled trials are needed to assess the therapeutic value of calcitriol in patients with LS.