Efficacy of anifrolumab in long-term intractable alopecia due to discoid lupus erythematosus

Mod Rheumatol Case Rep. 2024 Jul 8;8(2):267-271. doi: 10.1093/mrcr/rxae018.


Alopecia associated with lupus erythematosus is broadly classified into reversible nonscarring alopecia seen in the acute phase, such as worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and cicatricial alopecia seen in chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus represented by discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). In DLE-induced alopecia, early therapeutic intervention before developing scarring alopecia is important, but the condition is often resistant to conventional treatment. Anifrolumab (ANI), a novel therapeutic agent for SLE that inhibits Type I interferon activity, has been shown to be effective against acute skin lesions, including alopecia, in patients with SLE. However, there are very few reports on the effect of ANI on alopecia due to DLE. We report on a 27-year-old Japanese woman with SLE whose alopecia due to chronic DLE was refractory to topical therapy and systemic therapy with oral glucocorticoid, multiple immunosuppressants, and belimumab for ∼8 years after onset and whose alopecia improved with ANI. ANI can be considered to be an effective treatment option in lupus patients presenting with alopecia due to DLE, even in the chronic refractory stage.

Keywords: Alopecia; anifrolumab; discoid lupus erythematosus; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia* / drug therapy
  • Alopecia* / etiology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized* / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid* / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid* / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • anifrolumab