Efficacy of granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis for three cases of refractory pyoderma gangrenosum
Pyoderma gangrenosum presents with chronic skin ulcers and is histologically characterized by neutrophil infiltration throughout the dermis. It is also occasionally associated with ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, against which granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis (GCAP) has recently shown remarkable efficacy. We performed GCAP on three refractory cases of pyoderma gangrenosum with painful bilateral leg ulcers and hereby report the results obtained. Patient 1 was a 43-year-old woman with a four-year history of recurrent painful skin ulcers treated with prednisolone and cyclosporine. Patient 2 was a 29-year-old woman who had been suffering from pyoderma gangrenosum with severe pain for two weeks, associated with an 11-year history of ulcerative colitis treated with prednisolone and salazosulfapyridine. Patient 3 was a 63-year-old man with a three-year history of recurrent ulcers with pain, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis treated with prednisolone and cyclophosphamide. The sizes of the lesions were reduced in all three patients following a weekly GCAP treatment for 10 or 11 consecutive weeks, and the re-epithelialization of ulcers were additionally observed in two patients. The pain disappeared dramatically in all three patients following two sessions of GCAP therapy. No adverse effects were observed for up to at least eight months after treatment. We therefore considered GCAP as one effective alternative to currently existing therapies, with regards to refractory cases of pyoderma gangrenosum.
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