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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1998 Mar;80(3):263-8.

Long-term therapy with recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) for atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is a potent cytokine that modulates IL-4-induced immune responses. Atopic dermatitis is associated with increased IgE levels and decreased IFN-gamma production. Recent phase I and phase II studies have suggested that short-term rIFN-gamma therapy is effective in the treatment of severe atopic dermatitis.


We evaluated the safety and efficacy of long-term use of rIFN-gamma for severe atopic dermatitis.


Fifteen patients were treated for a minimum of 22 months with 50 micrograms/m2 rIFN-gamma qd or qod. Patients were monitored every 3 months for safety, efficacy, and linear growth in pediatric patients.


Data represented a total of 47 patient years, which included 29 pediatric patient years. There was a statistically significant decrease in mean total body surface area involvement over time (P < .001, ANOVA). Mean total body surface area involvement was 61.6% at baseline and decreased to 18.5% at 24 months (P < .001). Likewise, there was a statistically significant decrease in the clinical severity parameters. The mean total clinical severity score was 11.4 at baseline and decreased to 6.3 at 24 months (P < .001). Statistically significant decreases in WBC, neutrophil counts, and eosinophil counts were observed compared with baseline counts. No other significant laboratory abnormalities or growth problems were seen.


We conclude that rIFN-gamma appears to be a safe long-term therapy for patients with severe atopic dermatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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