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Adalimumab Effective Treatment for Scalp Disease

Drug reduces inflammation and symptoms in dissecting cellulitis of the scalp, but relapse likely

FRIDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adalimumab is an effective treatment for dissecting cellulitis of the scalp (DCS), the chronic inflammatory disease of scalp hair follicles that eventually results in hair loss, although relapse is likely after discontinuing treatment, according to a review of three case studies published online March 15 in the Archives of Dermatology.

Alexander A. Navarini, M.D., and Ralph M. Trüeb, M.D., from the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland treated three patients with DCS with the tumor necrosis factor antagonist adalimumab to target the inflammation responsible for scarifying tissue destruction. All three patients had previously been treated with antibiotics, and two patients had been treated with isotretinoin without success.

The researchers found that inflammation and patient symptoms were reduced within three months of continuous treatment. Two of three patients had reduced inflammatory infiltrate, although preexisting pathologic residual structures remained. However, discontinuing adalimumab treatment in one patient led to relapse within four weeks, making it necessary to restart adalimumab treatment.

"Adalimumab is effective for treatment of DCS," Navarini and Trüeb conclude. "Relapse on discontinuation of therapy can be expected depending on persisting structural disease."

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