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F1000Prime Rep. 2013 Jun 3;5:19. doi: 10.12703/P5-19. Print 2013.

Measurement of disease severity in cutaneous autoimmune diseases.

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Philadelphia VA Medical CenterPhiladelphia, PA.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphia, PA.
Contributed equally


The development of disease-specific outcome instruments for several autoimmune skin diseases including cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), dermatomyositis, vitiligo, pemphigus and alopecia areata has facilitated the objective assessment of disease in clinical trials. Validation of these instruments provides reliable tools to measure disease severity and therapeutic effect in clinical studies. However, the existence of multiple outcome measures for each disease and the lack of uniformity between studies has created a challenge in comparing results across trials. Efforts to address this issue include the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) initiative and international meetings directed at reaching a consensus. Other challenges with the use of outcome measures include difficulties measuring change in mild disease, measuring response in topical studies, and capturing disease activity in skin with extensive post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

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