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February 2000

Blood Transfusions and Psoriasis: Is There a Link?

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(2):270-271. doi:

It has been reported that transient immunosuppression is associated with allogeneic blood transfusions. The frequency, degree, and mechanism of immunosuppression attributed to blood transfusions are subjects of significant debate in recent and past medical literature.1,2 There is considerable evidence demonstrating that psoriasis is a T-cell mediated autoimmune disease.36 Because psoriasis is a common disease, and because clearing without any therapy is an unusual and hence memorable event, we hypothesized that if immunosuppression secondary to blood transfusions is a frequent and significant event, improvement in psoriasis should occur in patients with this disease shortly after receiving an allogeneic blood transfusion. Observations by one of us (G.G.K.) of dramatic and repeated improvement in psoriasis following blood transfusions plus a similar report to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) by a physician afflicted with psoriasis added further interest.

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