Comparative risk of herpes zoster in patients with psoriatic disease on systemic treatments: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2022 May 2:13:20406223221091188. doi: 10.1177/20406223221091188. eCollection 2022.


Background: Numerous previous studies have examined risk of herpes zoster (HZ) in psoriatic disease; however, the results of these studies are conflicting and the relative risks associated with different treatments remain largely unknown. In this meta-analysis, we examined the relative risk of HZ associated with systemic treatments for psoriatic disease.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases were searched to identify relevant English-language studies published up to April 2021. Data were extracted using a standardized data extraction form. Network meta-analyses (NMA) was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We examined the differences in HZ risk (incidence rate ratio; IRR) between treatments using a random-effects model for direct pairwise comparisons and NMA. The surface under the cumulative ranking area was calculated to rank the HZ risk for each treatment condition.

Results: This study analyzed 13 studies including 19 treatment arms involving a total of 443,104 patients with psoriatic disease. Corticosteroids (CS) [IRR, 2.56; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.59-4.13], a Janus kinase inhibitor (JAKi; tofacitinib) (IRR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.03-5.32), infliximab (IRR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.27-4.21), conventional synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) + CS (IRR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.23-4.17), anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF-α) + csDMARDs and/or CS (IRR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.38-3.31), csDMARDs (IRR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.18-2.22), and anti-TNF-α except infliximab (IRR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.13-2.30) were all associated with a significantly higher HZ risk compared to controls. CS treatment possessed the highest HZ risk, followed by infliximab and JAKi (tofacitinib). Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, anti-interleukin-17, -23 or -12/23, phototherapy, and acitretin showed a risk similar to controls without significant differences.

Conclusion: The NMA demonstrated CS, infliximab, and JAKi (tofacitinib), and several combination treatments were associated with higher HZ risk in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Differences in HZ risk should be taken into consideration when considering optimal psoriasis treatment.

Keywords: biologic; disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug; herpes zoster; network meta-analysis; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis.