A Man with Recurrent Widespread Blistering Eruption
Henry Foong FRCP, Ipoh, Malaysia on November 11, 2004
Consultant Dermatologist, Foong Skin Specialist Clinic, Ipoh, Malaysia
1: Enk AH, Knop J. Mycophenolate is effective in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris. Arch Dermatol 1999;135:54-56.
BACKGROUND: Pemphigus vulgaris is a potentially life-threatening
2. Cummins Dl et al Oral cyclophosphamide for treatment of pemphigus vulgaris and foliaceus. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49:276-80.)
Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating adjuvant used in refractory cases of pemphigus.
Objective We sought to evaluate tlhe effectiveness and safety of oral cyclophosphamide in the treatment of patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) with refractory disease.
Patients We studied 23 patients with pemphigus (20 with PV; 3 with PF) who failed to achieve clinical remissions with the use of prednisone and antimetabolites.
Results Complete remission was achieved in 17 patients with PV and 2 with PF. A total of 3 patients with PV failed therapy. A partial remission was achieved in 1 patient with PF. The treatment was administered for a median duration of 17 months with a follow-up period of 27 months. The median time to complete remission was 8.5 months. A total of 9 patients who were severely affected received concomitant plasma exchange. Adverse reactions included 5 cases of hematuria, 6 nonlife-threatening infections, and the development of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder 15 years after discontinuation of cyclophosphamide in 1 patient. No death was associated with cyclophosphamide treatment.
Conclusion Oral cyclophosphamide is an effective adjuvant in the treatment of severe and refractory PV and PF, but requires close monitoring