Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic disease characterized by significant morbidity. Current medical therapies are only minimally effective at treating the disease. Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody with high affinity for tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. TNF-alpha is known to induce proinflammatory cytokines and may play an important role in the therapy of a number of disparate inflammatory disorders. Infliximab has shown promise for the therapy of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Objectives: Retrospectively to evaluate the effectiveness of infliximab for the treatment of HS.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who received infliximab at the University of Miami Department of Dermatology. Patients were contacted and asked retrospectively to rate their disease activity immediately prior to and after therapy.
Results: Patients' self-reported disease activity scores were significantly decreased (P = 0.0001, paired t-test) following infliximab infusion. This correlated with physician-observed clinical improvement.
Conclusions: Infliximab is a promising agent for the treatment of HS. These initial results suggest that infliximab is associated with objective and subjective improvement in HS. Further controlled studies of the efficacy of infliximab and its effect on the course of the disease are warranted.