Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is a severe type of psoriasis accompanied by systemic and often life-threatening manifestations. The efficacy of the interleukin (IL)-1 antagonist anakinra in cases of GPP underscores the role of IL-1 in disease pathogenesis. We present a case of a middle-aged man who developed an abrupt and severe form of GPP with severe eosinophilia and cholestatic hepatitis. The patient received salvage treatment with a combination of glucocorticoids, hydroxyurea and imatinib, while administration of the IL-1 inhibitor anakinra resulted in remission of hepatitis and a significant skin improvement. However, due to persistent hypersensitivity skin reactions, anakinra was withdrawn and replaced with the anti-IL-1β antagonist canakinumab. As a result of canakinumab, the patient's skin completely cleared, while no systemic manifestations recurred. After 1 year of continuous canakinumab therapy, the patient remained virtually free of symptoms, while the drug was well tolerated.
© 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.