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J Rheumatol Suppl. 2014 May;91:65-70. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.140104.

Tuberculosis reactivation risk in dermatology.

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1
Address correspondence to Dr. Prignano, Division of Clinical, Preventive and Oncology Dermatology, Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, Florence University, Ospedale Piero Palagi, V.le Michelangelo 41, 50125 Florence, Italy. E-mail: francesca.prignano@unifi.it.

Abstract

The treatment of some dermatological diseases, especially psoriasis, has been revolutionized by the advent of biologic therapies that target various immune cells or cytokines. However, biologic therapies may affect the risk of active tuberculosis (TB). We review the published safety data about TB risk reactivation for biologic agents used in dermatology. According to recent findings, psoriasis itself could represent an independent risk factor for TB; a high prevalence of TB was found in patients with psoriasis (18.0%), even after adjusting for age, work, and other characteristics. Latent TB infection was more common in patients with psoriasis (50%) than in those with inflammatory bowel disease (24.2%). Risk of TB reactivation was also influenced by the type of agent used. Several structural and functional differences among biologic drugs could account for differences in risk of granulomatous infection. Different kinetics of currently available tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists, leading to different TNF bioavailability in granulomatous tissue, may explain differences in TB reactivation among patients treated with biologics. One could argue that etanercept should be the first choice of anti-TNF agent in populations at high risk of TB. Risk of TB reactivation during treatment with other biologics is not yet well defined.

KEYWORDS:

BIOLOGIC DRUGS; LATENT TUBERCULOSIS INFECTION; PSORIASIS

PMID:
24789002
DOI:
10.3899/jrheum.140104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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