High-Dose Intravenous Pulse Methotrexate in Patients With Eosinophilic Fasciitis

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Abstract

Importance

Eosinophilic fasciitis (EF) is a connective tissue disorder in which conventional treatment leads to disappointing results in a proportion of patients. Therefore, we investigated high-dose intravenous (IV) pulse methotrexate (MTX) as a treatment for EF.

Objective

To examine safety and effects of monthly high-dose IV pulse MTX in EF.

Design, Setting, and Participants

For this prospective single-arm study, we recruited 12 patients diagnosed with biopsy specimen–proven EF between 2006 and 2009 from the Department of Dermatology and Rheumatology at the Radboud University Medical Centre.

Interventions

Intravenous MTX (4 mg/kg) monthly for 5 months with folinic acid rescue 24 hours after MTX administration.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary outcome was improvement of the modified skin score at month 5 vs baseline. Secondary outcomes were durometry, range of motion, visual analog scale scores for disease activity, and 36-Item Short Form Survey health questionnaires.

Results

Overall, 12 patients (11 women between 37-69 years old) received a median (range) monthly dose of 288 (230-336) mg MTX. Median (range) modified skin score improved from 17.5 (8.0-24.0) at baseline to 8.5 (1.0-20.0) at month 5 (P = .001). Secondary outcome measures improved significantly, except for durometer scores and range of motion of the elbows. Adverse events included gastrointestinal symptoms (n = 9), mild stomatitis (n = 5), and alopecia (n = 4).

Conclusions and Relevance

High-dose IV pulse MTX is a safe and effective treatment option in EF.

Trial Registration

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00441961

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