Minimal Spinal Hyperostosis with Low-Dose Isotretinoin Therapy

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Skeletal abnormalities have been reported on numerous occasions in patients who have received high doses of vitamin A and its derivatives. Recently, a new derivative, isotretinoin (Accutane, Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc.), has become available for the treatment of cystic acne. Ninety-six patients treated for a minimum of four months with low doses of this drug at two University centers have shown overall good to excellent clinical responses. However, ten of these patients have developed small pointed excrescences on the anterior margins of cervical, thoracic, or lumbar vertebral bodies. The findings are of unknown clinical significance but show some similarities to the spinal findings in DISH syndrome. Follow-up studies will be obtained, but, at the present time, the drug still can be recommended for patients who have severe cystic acne because of the excellent clinical response.

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