Scientific understanding and clinical management of Dupuytren disease

Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2010 Dec;6(12):715-26. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2010.180. Epub 2010 Nov 9.


Dupuytren disease (DD) is a fibroproliferative disorder of unknown etiology that often results in shortening and thickening of the palmar fascia, leading to permanent and irreversible flexion contracture of the digits. This Review provides a detailed update of the scientific understanding of DD and its clinical management, with perspectives on emerging research and therapy. Established risk factors include genetic predisposition and ethnicity, as well as sex and age. Several environmental risk factors (some considered controversial) include smoking, alcohol intake, trauma, diabetes, epilepsy and use of anticonvulsant drugs, and exposure to vibration. DD has been variously attributed to the presence of oxygen free radicals, trauma to the palmar fascia, or aberrant immune responses with altered antigen presentation, or to interactions between these proposed mechanisms. The presence of immune cells and related phenomena in DD-affected tissue suggests that DD is possibly immune-related. Mechanically, digital contracture is caused by myofibroblasts in the DD palmar fascia; however, the exact origin of this cell type remains unknown. The mainstay of treatment is surgical release or excision of the affected palmodigital tissue, but symptoms often recur. Nonsurgical correction of DD contractures can be achieved by Clostridium histolyticum collagenase injection, although the long-term safety and recurrence rate of this procedure requires further assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Dupuytren Contracture / epidemiology
  • Dupuytren Contracture / etiology*
  • Dupuytren Contracture / therapy*
  • Fasciotomy
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Microbial Collagenase / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Microbial Collagenase