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June 1968

Generalized SclerodermaTreatment With an Immunosuppressive Agent

Author Affiliations

Little Rock, Ark

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Clinical Research Center, University of Arkansas and the Little Rock Veterans Administration Hospital, Little Rock, Ark.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(6):690-698. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610120080013

Twenty-one patients with various forms and stages of systemic scleroderma were treated with azathioprine, an immunosuppressive agent. Eight of these patients were judged to be improved subjectively and by clinical evaluation during the course of treatment. Seven patients were unchanged, two had progression of their disease and one was lost from the study. None of the patients died during the course of the study. In three patients, a febrile reaction required cessation of therapy. Other toxic symptoms were noted but their mild nature did not preclude continuing therapy. The difficulties of objective evaluation and establishment of a proper control study group is reviewed. These results do not establish unequivocal evidence that this drug or treatment approach is successful in the control of systemic scleroderma. An evaluation in a larger series for a more prolonged time is indicated.