Review article: anti TNF-alpha induced psoriasis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 May 1;29(9):921-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.03955.x. Epub 2009 Feb 10.


Background: Anti TNF-alpha agents are used successfully for several autoimmune diseases, including IBD and psoriasis. An emerging challenge is the increasing incidence of anti TNF-alpha induced psoriasis. A total of 120 cases have been currently reported, of whom 18 patients were treated with biological agents for IBD.

Objectives: To analyse all cases of anti TNF-alpha induced psoriasis in patients with IBD in the literature and to investigate potential mechanisms of action.

Methods: A literature review was performed in the PubMed, Medline, Cochrane and EMBASE databases, with simple analysis of demographic data, drug administration and psoriasis onset. Risk and incidence patient/year/duration (pyd) was calculated.

Results: A total of 18 patients with IBD treated by anti TNF-alpha agents developed drug-induced psoriasis of which, 17 patients developed with infliximab, one with adalimumab. The most frequent time of onset is between 3rd and 4th infusion of infliximab. Withdrawal of infliximab led to regression of lesions in 16 patients. In six patients, infliximab was reintroduced with no further recurrence of psoriasis.

Conclusions: Although anti TNF-alpha induced psoriasis is extremely rare, understanding the mechanism will be a key step towards better realizing the role played by TNF-alpha and its pharmacological inhibitors in immune-mediated diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Psoriasis / chemically induced*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab