NGF, a useful tool in the treatment of chronic vasculitic ulcers in rheumatoid arthritis

Lancet. 2000 Nov 18;356(9243):1739-40. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03212-8.


Vasculitic necrosis and ulceration of the skin are frequent complications of connective tissue diseases and are very difficult to heal. We treated chronic vasculitic leg ulcers in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic sclerosis by topical application of nerve growth factor (NGF). In all patients with rheumatoid arthritis, NGF led to rapid healing, whereas less striking results were obtained in patients with systemic sclerosis. The efficacy of NGF could be due to its promoting activity on keratinocytes proliferation and vascular neoangiogenesis. We suggest that topical application of NGF could represent a powerful pharmacological tool for the treatment of vasculitic ulcers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Leg Ulcer / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Growth Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / complications
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / drug therapy*
  • Skin Ulcer / complications
  • Skin Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Nerve Growth Factor