A prospective open-label study of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of diffuse systemic sclerosis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Dec;48(12):1595-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep295. Epub 2009 Oct 21.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of SSc.

Methods: We recruited 15 patients with dcSSc to take part in an open-label study using mycophenolate mofetil to treat their disease over a 12-month period. The primary outcome measure was the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS), whereas secondary outcomes included the Medsger severity score, pulmonary function studies, 2D echocardiograms and the Short Form Health Survey (SF)-36 questionnaire.

Results: The mRSS significantly improved in those patients who tolerated the medication for >3 months (P < 0.0001), and there was a statistically significant improvement in the Medsger severity scores of the general (P = 0.05), peripheral vascular involvement (P = 0.05) and skin (P = 0.0003) scores. The SF-36 scores improved (P = 0.05) and the pulmonary function studies showed a trend towards improvement, though not of statistical significance. The mean pulmonary artery pressure by 2D echocardiography did not change.

Conclusions: In this prospective open-label study of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of dcSSc, we observed significant improvements in skin scores, peripheral vascular involvement and patient-perceived health status. Pulmonary function studies did not worsen as expected, but instead showed a trend towards improvement. Controlled trials are needed to further investigate this trend for improved pulmonary function studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / adverse effects
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Scleroderma, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mycophenolic Acid