Treatment of severe psoriasis with somatostatin: Four years of experience

A. Venier, C. De Simone, L. Forni, G. Ghirlanda, L. Uccioli, F. Serri, L. Frati

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Over a period of 4 years, 20 patients suffering from severe forms of psoriasis (erythrodermic, suberythrodermic, resistant generalized forms and/or forms associated with acute arthropathy) were treated with 96 h of continuous i.v. infusion of somatostatin (Stilamin, Serono) diluted in D5W at 250 μg/h. In addition to the usual blood chemistry parameters, circadian levels of growth hormone (GH) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) were measured before, during, and after therapy. Approximately 2-3 weeks after termination of therapy, erythrodermic and suberythrodermic symptoms had disappeared. In some patients, a few lesions of psoriasis vulgaris remained, although they were much less severe. Remission of acute arthropathy was impressive. Blood chemistry parameters were unchanged after therapy. Circadian levels of GH and EGF, normal before therapy, were significantly decreased after therapy. The infusion was well-tolerated. Infusion rates of greater than 250 μg/h caused only some complaints of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. During the 4 years, erythrodermic symptoms reappeared only in seven patients, three of whom were also arthropathic. After 6-8 months, they underwent a second course of somatostatin therapy with good results. The other patients are still able to control their disease with tar-based products alone or with low-dose 8-methoxypsoralen + UVA (PUVA) or UV therapy. The arthropathic patients control their symptoms with periodic low-dose nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue numberSUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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