To determine the safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of a newer retinoid, acitretin, as monotherapy for psoriasis associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection (PS-HIV).
An academic medical center.
Eleven patients selected from volunteers with PS-HIV were enrolled in a 20-week treatment protocol. Two patients discontinued participation in the study because of worsening psoriasis; a third patient was unable to continue treatment after having a myocardial infarction, presumably unrelated to acitretin therapy.
Each patient received an optimized dose of acitretin during the period of observation. Clinical and laboratory assessments were performed every 2 weeks during the trial.
Main Outcome Measures:
The Psoriasis Area and Severity Index was used to assess the clinical response to treatment. To monitor for toxic drug effects, a panel of laboratory parameters, including complete blood cell count, biochemistry profile, urinalysis, HLA typing, skin biopsy for histological examination, and T-cell counts, was performed.
Six (54%) of 11 patients with PS-HIV achieved good to excellent responses using acitretin monotherapy. Four patients (36%) achieved complete clearing. There was no evidence of a correlation between the pretreatment measures of immunosuppression and the therapeutic response. Parameters of immunosuppression were not exacerbated by acitretin therapy. Conclusions: Acitretin is a safe and effective treatment for PS-HIV. Both skin and joint manifestations of PSHIV responded to acitretin therapy in most patients. Optimal results were achieved with a dose of 75 mg/d. The adverse effects were moderate and well tolerated. Acitretin does not appear to have immunosuppressive properties. A formal randomized clinical trial is warranted.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:711-715
Buccheri L, Katchen BR, Karter AJ, Cohen SR. Acitretin Therapy Is Effective for Psoriasis Associated With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(6):711-715. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890420043005