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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 April;56(2):231-8

language: English

Cyclosporin is safe and effective in severe atopic dermatitis of childhood. Report of three cases

Leonardi S.,Marchese G., Rotolo N., Miraglia del Giudice M., La Rosa M.


Severe atopic dermatitis causes major impairment in the life of both children and their parents. Generally, symptoms can be controlled with emollients, topical steroids, antibiotics, antihistaminic but some patients remain intensely ill and may require treatment with systemic steroids and so on. Cyclosporin has been found to be effective in a variety of inflammatory skin disorders since it reduces the number of activated T-cells expressing interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptors. In order to monitor the safety and clinical efficacy of therapy and days of remission we performed Cyclosporin on 3 children with severe atopic dermatitis, refractory to all traditional therapies. Cyclospo-rin suspension at dosage of 5 mg/kg daily, in 2 doses for 8 weeks has been used. Cyclosporin blood levels, liver and kidney function, blood pressure and some immunological parameters (eosinophils, IgE, IL-2 receptors) were monitored. All patients showed a marked clinical improvement with reduction of pruritus, erythema, papules, vesciculation, excoriation, scaly crusts and lichenification. No clinical or haematological side effects were demonstrated. The soluble IL-2 receptor concentration decreased even after 8 weeks of treatment in all 3 patients, regardless of IgE levels (case 1: low IgE level; case 2: very high IgE level) as in several others T-cell mediated non IgE-related skin disease. The authors suggest that courses of 8 weeks seem effective and safe as well as longer time in producing early remission with the advantage of a low cumulative exposure to the drug. The main question is whether a prolonged remission will permain as well as continuous therapy. This study underscores the potential value of systemic administration of this powerful immuno-suppressive agent in the treatment of many cases of severe atopic dermatitis working regardless of the IgE values. Although 3 cases report does not justify any definitive conclusion however it does a contribute to understand the heterogeneity of atopic dermatitis and it adds information to its current treatment guidelines.

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