Successful treatment of severe or methotrexate-resistant juvenile localized scleroderma with mycophenolate mofetil

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Nov;48(11):1410-3. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep244. Epub 2009 Aug 27.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in the treatment of severe refractory juvenile localized scleroderma (JLS).

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed in patients with JLS who had been treated with MMF after the failure of a combination of MTX and corticosteroids for at least 4 months, or whose JLS had concomitant severe extracutaneous manifestations. Outcome was assessed through clinical examination and thermography. Adverse events were recorded.

Results: Ten patients (six females and four males) were enrolled in the study. JLS clinical subtypes were deep morphoea (two patients with disabling pansclerotic morphoea), generalized morphoea (three patients), linear scleroderma (five patients) affecting the limbs in two and face in three patients (en coup de sabre). The age at onset of disease was 8 (range 2-16) years, and the disease duration at the time of treatment with MMF was 18 (range 8-62) months. All MMF-treated patients experienced clinical improvement that allowed withdrawal or reduction of doses of corticosteroids and MTX. Over a follow-up of 27 (range 6-36) months, mild abdominal discomfort was reported in only one patient.

Conclusions: MMF appears to be effective in arresting disease progression in severe or MTX-refractory JLS and is generally well tolerated. Further controlled studies are needed to confirm these data.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleroderma, Localized / drug therapy*
  • Scleroderma, Localized / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Methotrexate