Pulsed High-Dose Corticosteroids Combined With Low-Dose Methotrexate in Severe Localized Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 02:56
Alexander Kreuter, MD; Thilo Gambichler, MD; Frank Breuckmann, MD; Sebastian Rotterdam, MD; Marcus Freitag, MD; Markus Stuecker, MD; Klaus Hoffmann, MD; Peter Altmeyer, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2005;141:847-852

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of pulsed highdose corticosteroids combined with orally administered low-dose methotrexate therapy in patients with severe localized scleroderma (LS).

Design: A prospective, nonrandomized, open pilot study.

Setting: Dermatology department at a university hospital in Bochum, Germany.

Patients: Fifteen patients with histologically confirmed severe LS.

Interventions: Oral methotrexate (15 mg/wk) combined with pulsed intravenous methylprednisolone (1000 mg for 3 days monthly) for at least 6 months.

Main Outcome Measures: Treatment outcome was evaluated by means of a clinical score, 20-MHz ultrasonography, and histopathologic analysis. Safety assessment included the monitoring of adverse effects and clinical laboratory parameters.

Results: One patient discontinued therapy. In most of the remaining 14 patients, significant elimination of all signs of active disease (inflammation) and remarkable softening of formerly affected sclerotic skin that resulted in a decrease of the mean±SD clinical score from 10.9±5.3 at the beginning to 5.5±2.5 at the end of therapy was observed (P<.001). Clinical improvement was confirmed by histologic and ultrasonographic assessments. No serious adverse effects were noted.

Conclusions: These data suggest that pulsed high-dose corticosteroids combined with orally administered lowdose methotrexate therapy is beneficial and safe in the treatment of patients with LS. This treatment regimen should especially be considered for severe forms of LS
in which conventional treatments have failed.

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