Background: In inflamed skin, keratinocytes and inflammatory cells both produce large amounts of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) -alpha, a cytokine with broad effects that are relevant to inflammation. Blockade of this proinflammatory cytokine by a monoclonal anti-TNF-alpha antibody might be effectively used in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.
Objectives: To gather information about the efficacy of an anti-TNF-alpha antibody (infliximab) in the treatment of skin lesions of psoriatic arthritis.
Methods: Six patients with progressive joint disease and psoriatic skin lesions unresponsive to methotrexate therapy were treated with anti-TNF-alpha antibody. The Psoriasis Area and Severity Index was determined before and 10 weeks after initiation of therapy.
Results: Improvement of psoriatic skin lesions was observed in all patients. In addition, a marked improvement of the joint disease was noted.
Conclusions: Therapy with anti-TNF-alpha antibody may be an effective treatment regimen for both psoriatic arthritis and psoriatic skin lesions.