- Cohen, MA; Cohen, JJ; Kerdel, FA
- Background: There is growing evidence that immunoablative high-dose cyclophosphamide without stem cell rescue is effective and safe in patients with refractory autoimmune diseases such as paraneoplastic pemphigus, systemic lupus erythematosus, aplastic anemia, and more recently pemphigus vulgaris. Methods: We report a 51-year-old patient with severe pemphigus foliaceus, which was recalcitrant to multiple medical regimes. The patient presented with multiple thick hyperpigmented and scaly, ill-defined plaques on the face. In addition, she had multiple superficial erosions and crusts on her scalp, thorax, upper and lower extremities. The patient also had a few discrete intact flaccid bullae. A skin biopsy and direct immunofluorescence was consistent with pemphigus foliaceus. The patient's circulating pemphigus autoantibodies were present at a titer of 1 :2560. The patient received immunoablative high-dose cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg/day) for 4 consecutive days, and tolerated the regime well. Results: Approximately 3 months after therapy, the skin lesions had healed and her prednisone, which had been as high as 80 mg daily, was tapered to 30 mg daily. In addition, her circulating autoantibodies decreased after treatment. Nearly 10 months after treatment, the patient did relapse. However, her disease was less severe and more easily managed with lower doses of immunosuppressive therapy. Conclusion: This case contributes to the growing evidence of high-dose cyclophosphamide's efficacy without stem cell rescue in recalcitrant autoimmune diseases, including pemphigus foliaceus.
- August 20, 2002
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