Azathioprine may benefit pediatric atopic dermatitis

Azathioprine may benefit pediatric atopic dermatitis
For pediatric patients with refractory atopic dermatitis, oral azathioprine is associated with clinical improvement, and measurement of thiopurine methyltransferase activity seems useful for monitoring treatment, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

(HealthDay) -- For pediatric patients with refractory atopic dermatitis (AD), oral azathioprine is associated with clinical improvement, and measurement of thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) activity seems useful for monitoring treatment, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

To examine appropriate use and monitoring of azathioprine for children with AD, Maura Caufield, from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and Wynnis L. Tom, M.D., from the University of California in San Diego, prospectively followed 12 children with severe, recalcitrant AD who were treated with oral azathioprine. At baseline, TPMT activity was measured, and, at times of stable improvement, inadequate response, or change in response, the measurement was repeated, together with measurement of 6-thioguanine nucleotide and 6-methylmercaptopurine.

The researchers found that, for all but one patient, therapy correlated with clinical improvement, with few adverse effects. During treatment, three patients exhibited significant changes in TPMT activity: two had a mild decrease and one demonstrated enzyme inducibility, with enzyme activity increasing from intermediate to normal range. There was an inverse correlation between these changes and to therapy, which was not seen for 6-thioguanine nucleotide or 6-methylmercaptopurine levels.

"Our results suggest that TPMT activity can alter in either direction during treatment," the authors write. "Repeated measurement might be warranted, particularly in cases of nonresponse to treatment, to optimize dosing or to consider alternate therapy."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Genetic-screening trial could reduce drug side-effects

Jun 24, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Patients with a range of common inflammatory diseases that also have genetic variations leading to low levels of a particular enzyme in their bodies are at greater risk of suffering side-effects from the ...

2-drug combo twice as effective for Crohn's disease remission

Apr 14, 2010

A study led by Mayo Clinic suggests remission from Crohn's disease may be more likely if patients get biologic therapy combined with immune-suppressing drugs first instead of immune-suppressing drugs alone. The study, published ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria detected in food may cause abortions

3 hours ago

The results of research conducted in the ICAS Culiacán reveal that at least 10 percent of the fresh cheese, sausages and meats sold in markets and on the street may be contaminated.

UN Ebola czar heads to West Africa

8 hours ago

The UN's new pointman on Ebola said Tuesday he will travel to West Africa this week to shore up health services in the four countries hit by the worst-ever outbreak of the virus.

User comments