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Methotrexate: an effective monotherapy for refractory generalized morphea

Authors Platsidaki E, Tzanetakou V, Kouris A, Stavropoulos PG

Received 22 February 2017

Accepted for publication 11 April 2017

Published 8 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 165—169


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Eftychia Platsidaki, Vassiliki Tzanetakou, Anargyros Kouris, Panagiotis G Stavropoulos

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Andreas Syggros Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Morphea is an inflammatory skin disorder characterized by excessive collagen deposition. Although treatment algorithms for morphea subtypes have been suggested, no consistent recommendations are available. This study attempts to evaluate the clinical efficacy of methotrexate (MTX) as monotherapy in refractory generalized morphea.
Methods: It is a retrospective study, including 20 patients who had already been treated with various topical and systemic therapies with minimal clinical improvement. Patients received orally MTX at a of dosage 15 mg once weekly. Duration of the use, dosage of MTX, and adverse events were recorded. Clinical assessment of skin lesions was performed and documented.
Results: The mean disease duration was 27 months before the initiation of MTX treatment. After 12 months of therapy, very good response was achieved in 6 patients (30%), good response in 10 patients (50%), and fair response in 2 patients (10%), while 2 patients (10%) had failed treatment. Patients were followed up for a mean time interval of 21 months. No serious adverse event was recorded.
Conclusion: MTX has been already proved to be an effective and well-tolerated treatment in pediatric patients with morphea. The majority of the group of adult patients showed very good and good improvement when treated with MTX. Although this is an uncontrolled study, MTX monotherapy was considered a safe and effective treatment for the management of this specific clinical subset of morphea in adults.

Keywords: methotrexate, adults, generalized morphea

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