Treatment of patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and concomitant hepatitis C infection remains difficult. Except for cyclosporine, other drugs have proved unacceptable because of hepatotoxicity in patients with HCV. With the advent of anti-TNF-alpha drugs, including etanercept, new therapeutic options have become available. Our study population was five patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and concomitant chronic HCV infection undergoing etanercept therapy. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and viral load were used as markers for liver damage and disease progression, respectively. The Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) was used as a reference parameter for evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of etanercept therapy in improving the clinical skin picture. AST, ALT, viral load and PASI were monitored at 3-month intervals starting from the beginning of therapy up to two years after initiation of etanercept therapy. In four out of five patients, liver enzyme levels and viral load remained substantially unchanged during the course of therapy. In the one remaining patient, viral load and liver enzyme levels increased during etanercept therapy, and then decreased following the initiation of Peg-IFN/ribavirin in combination with anti-TNF-alpha therapy. PASI scores decreased in all five patients. Our data suggest that etanercept therapy is safe and provides an efficacious therapeutic alternative in patients with psoriasis and concomitant HCV infection.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2010|
- Hepatitis C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy