Use of mycophenolate mofetil to treat scleroderma-associated interstitial lung disease

Respir Med. 2008 Jan;102(1):150-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2007.07.021. Epub 2007 Sep 5.


Up to 80% of patients with scleroderma have lung disease, with interstitial lung disease (ILD) being the most common manifestation. Currently, there is no definitive therapy for this condition. The objective of the study is to investigate the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to treat scleroderma interstitial ILD. We report a retrospective chart review of 17 patients with scleroderma ILD treated with MMF (2g/day) for at least 12 months. Demographics, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) findings, pulmonary physiology and high-resolution computed tomography were recorded at baseline and after 12 and 24 months of therapy. Baseline BAL (n=12) showed alveolitis (median of 18% neutrophils). Ninety-four percent of subjects had either improved or stable lung function after 12 months of treatment: four improved, 12 were stable and only one worsened. All patients had radiographic abnormalities consistent with ILD. After 12 months of therapy, radiological findings (n=15) were stable in 11 patients, worse in three, and improved in one. There were no side effects attributable to MMF therapy recorded. Treatment of patients with scleroderma ILD for up to 24 months with MMF was generally associated with stable pulmonary function. These data argue for a prospective trial using MMF to treat scleroderma ILD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mycophenolic Acid