Ustekinumab treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa

J Dermatol. 2019 Dec;46(12):1215-1218. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.15122. Epub 2019 Oct 22.


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a follicular occlusive inflammatory skin disease that occurs in the axilla, groin, buttocks and vulval region. Control of the intractable inflammation is a primary goal of HS treatments. Benefit of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibodies against HS have been reported, and adalimumab has been approved for HS in Europe, the USA and Japan. However, the alternative therapies for anti-TNF antibodies have not been established yet. We experienced a case of HS which developed during the infliximab treatment for Crohn's disease (CD) and was well managed by ustekinumab (UST). We reviewed the articles relating to ustekinumab treatments for HS. Twenty-four HS patients, 16 women and eight men, have been treated with ustekinumab. The average age was 35.7 ± 10.8 years (mean ± SD). All were of Hurley stage II or III. Ten (10/24, 41.6%) had received anti-TNF drugs including infliximab, adalimumab and etanercept prior to UST treatment for HS. Although the initial doses varied from 45 mg s.c. to 390 mg i.v., all cases were treated with 45 or 90 mg s.c. every 8 or 12 weeks at the regular dose, by following the regimen for psoriasis or CD. HS in most of the cases started to improve after 3-5 months of UST initiation, and some achieved complete remission. To our knowledge, our case is the first Asian HS patient improved by UST. Overall, UST is useful for HS and could be an alternative treatment if HS patients do not respond to other medications including anti-TNF drugs.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; hidradenitis suppurative; infliximab; severity score; ustekinumab.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ustekinumab / therapeutic use*


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Ustekinumab