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Prospective evaluation of treatment response and disease reversibility of paediatric localized scleroderma (morphoea) to steroids and methotrexate using multi-modal imaging

Weibel, L; Theiler, M; Howell, KJ; Denton, CP; Waelchli, R; Atherton, D; Woo, P; (2020) Prospective evaluation of treatment response and disease reversibility of paediatric localized scleroderma (morphoea) to steroids and methotrexate using multi-modal imaging. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology , 34 (7) pp. 1609-1616. 10.1111/jdv.16308. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Paediatric localized scleroderma is a severe inflammatory disorder associated with tissue atrophy, often leading to disability. Assessing disease activity and response to treatment has always been challenging and remains an important difficulty in clinical practice. / Objectives: To investigate prospectively the efficacy of systemic treatment with corticosteroids and methotrexate in children with localized scleroderma and the validity of infrared thermography, laser Doppler flowmetry and high‐frequency ultrasound in assessing disease activity. / Methods: Children with localized scleroderma were prospectively treated with corticosteroids (initially pulsed IV methylprednisolone 30 mg/kg/day, maximum 500 mg/day and/or oral prednisolone 0.5–1 mg/kg/day) and methotrexate (15 mg/m2 weekly). Treatment response was evaluated using a clinical activity score. Skin temperature, blood flow, dermal thickness and dermal echogenicity of clinically active skin lesions were determined in relation to the unaffected contralateral site at baseline and after 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. Patient charts were later reviewed for long‐term follow‐up. / Results: Twenty‐two patients were included [age 6.0 (0.2–14.4] years; female‐to‐male ratio 3.4 : 1) All responded well to therapy. Disease reversibility was demonstrated in the majority of children with partial resolution of skin sclerosis and regrowth of hair. Laser Doppler flowmetry and high‐frequency ultrasound findings correlated with disease activity at baseline. Thermography had no added value in this cohort. The recurrence rate was 36% in the follow‐up period. / Conclusions: Corticosteroids and methotrexate are highly effective as first‐line therapy in paediatric localized scleroderma, leading to partial reversal of skin manifestations. However, the recurrence rate is substantial and affected children require long‐term follow‐up. Laser Doppler flowmetry and high‐frequency ultrasound correlate with disease activity in the acute phase and may assist decision‐making in these patients.

Type: Article
Title: Prospective evaluation of treatment response and disease reversibility of paediatric localized scleroderma (morphoea) to steroids and methotrexate using multi-modal imaging
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jdv.16308
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.16308
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inflammation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092074
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