Skin barrier status during dupilumab treatment in patients with severe atopic dermatitis

Silvia Ferrucci, Maurizio Romagnuolo, Carlo Alberto Maronese, Francesca Germiniasi, Simona Tavecchio, Luisa Angileri, Giovanni Casazza, Angelo Valerio Marzano, Giovanni Genovese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic-relapsing inflammatory skin disease hallmarked by epidermal barrier dysfunction, increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and decreased skin hydration. Recent findings on the T helper 2 (Th2)-driven pathogenesis of AD have led to the development of dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 that has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of moderate-to-severe AD. The effect of dupilumab on skin barrier dysfunction, however, has not yet been adequately investigated. Objectives: The primary endpoint of this study was to assess the status of the skin barrier in nonlesional skin of patients with severe AD treated with dupilumab, by evaluating the association between the relative variation of TEWL and the achievement of a 75% reduction of EASI (EASI75) over time. Methods: TEWL was measured below the antecubital fossae by means of the Vapometer® at baseline, at week 4 (T4), at week 16 (T16) and at week 32 after dupilumab starting. EASI and NRS-itch were measured at the same time points. Results: Seventy-eight patients with severe AD treated with dupilumab were enrolled. Median TEWL relative variation respect to baseline was significantly higher in patients who achieved EASI75 as compared with those who did not achieve EASI75 at T16 and at T32, but not at T4. Conclusion: During dupilumab treatment, TEWL on nonlesional skin tends to significantly improve 4 months after treatment initiation and could be a good tool for monitoring response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20406223211058332
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • atopic dermatitis
  • dupilumab
  • skin barrier
  • transepidermal water loss
  • type 2 inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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