Clinical and genetic differences between pustular psoriasis subtypes

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Mar;143(3):1021-1026. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.06.038. Epub 2018 Jul 21.


Background: The term pustular psoriasis indicates a group of severe skin disorders characterized by eruptions of neutrophil-filled pustules. The disease, which often manifests with concurrent psoriasis vulgaris, can have an acute systemic (generalized pustular psoriasis [GPP]) or chronic localized (palmoplantar pustulosis [PPP] and acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau [ACH]) presentation. Although mutations have been uncovered in IL36RN and AP1S3, the rarity of the disease has hindered the study of genotype-phenotype correlations.

Objective: We sought to characterize the clinical and genetic features of pustular psoriasis through the analysis of an extended patient cohort.

Methods: We ascertained a data set of unprecedented size, including 863 unrelated patients (251 with GPP, 560 with PPP, 28 with ACH, and 24 with multiple diagnoses). We undertook mutation screening in 473 cases.

Results: Psoriasis vulgaris concurrence was lowest in PPP (15.8% vs 54.4% in GPP and 46.2% in ACH, P < .0005 for both), whereas the mean age of onset was earliest in GPP (31.0 vs 43.7 years in PPP and 51.8 years in ACH, P < .0001 for both). The percentage of female patients was greater in PPP (77.0%) than in GPP (62.5%; P = 5.8 × 10-5). The same applied to the prevalence of smokers (79.8% vs 28.3%, P < 10-15). Although AP1S3 alleles had similar frequency (0.03-0.05) across disease subtypes, IL36RN mutations were less common in patients with PPP (0.03) than in those with GPP (0.19) and ACH (0.16; P = 1.9 × 10-14 and .002, respectively). Importantly, IL36RN disease alleles had a dose-dependent effect on age of onset in all forms of pustular psoriasis (P = .003).

Conclusions: The analysis of an unparalleled resource revealed key clinical and genetic differences between patients with PPP and those with GPP.

Keywords: AP1S3; Generalized pustular psoriasis; IL36RN; acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau; genotype-phenotype correlation; palmoplantar pustulosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Psoriasis / genetics*
  • Smoking / genetics
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • AP1S3 protein, human
  • IL36RN protein, human
  • Interleukins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins