Background: Psoriasis is being recognized as an autoimmune disease in which immunocyte-derived cytokines are thought to drive the development of the altered keratinocyte phenotype. Although the role of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in psoriasis is not completely understood, it may underlie many of the key steps that lead to induction and maintenance of the disease. Infliximab is an immunoglobulin monoclonal antibody that binds and inactivates TNF-alpha and has been successfully used in the management of TNF-alpha-mediated diseases, such as Crohn disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Observations: Two patients with recalcitrant psoriasis that was unresponsive to multiple skin-directed and systemic therapies were treated with a single infusion of infliximab. The treatments resulted in rapid and complete clearing of psoriatic erythroderma and resolution of symptoms of arthritis in one case and complete clearing of widespread psoriatic plaques and improvement of symptoms of arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease in the other. The single treatments with infliximab were well tolerated with no immediate or long-term adverse effects noted.
Conclusion: A single infusion of infliximab at 5 to 10 mg/kg resulted in the rapid and complete clearing of recalcitrant psoriatic plaques and erythroderma with a disease-free interval of 3 to 4 months in these 2 patients and improved the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.