Treatment of psoriatic arthritis by extracorporeal photochemotherapy

Br J Dermatol. 1990 Feb;122(2):225-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1990.tb08269.x.


Five patients with long-standing seronegative arthritis resistant to conventional therapy and who also had psoriasis of the skin were treated with photopheresis. This mode of treatment combines a lymphocyte-enrichment procedure with 8-methoxypsoralen-photochemotherapy. There was a marked in vitro effect on treated lymphocytes, with a reduction of viability, proliferation and mitogen response. There was a slight to moderate clinical improvement in four of the five patients with regard to the strength of grip, swelling, pain, morning stiffness, the dosage of non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drugs and the radiographical changes. The skin lesions did not respond to photopheresis. Short-term side-effects were minimal and consisted of a temporary sensitivity of the eyes to light and signs of circulatory dysregulation immediately after treatment. This experimental therapy has some measurable but not dramatic effect in improving psoriatic arthropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / pathology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • PUVA Therapy / methods*
  • Pilot Projects