Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Tolerability of Mycophenolate Mofetil and Mycophenolic Acid for the Treatment of Morphea.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

IMPORTANCE: First-line systemic therapy for morphea includes methotrexate with or without systemic corticosteroids. When this regimen is ineffective, not tolerated, or contraindicated, a trial of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) or mycophenolic acid (MPA)-referred to herein as mycophenolate-is recommended; however, evidence to support this recommendation remains weak. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of mycophenolate for the treatment of morphea. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2018, among 77 patients with morphea from 8 institutions who were treated with mycophenolate. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was morphea disease activity, severity, and response at 0, 3 to 6, and 9 to 12 months of mycophenolate treatment. A secondary outcome was whether mycophenolate was a well-tolerated treatment of morphea. RESULTS: There were 61 female patients (79%) and 16 male patients (21%) in the study, with a median age at disease onset of 36 years (interquartile range, 16-53 years) and median diagnostic delay of 8 months (interquartile range, 4-14 months). Generalized morphea (37 [48%]), pansclerotic morphea (12 [16%]), and linear morphea of the trunk and/or extremities (9 [12%]) were the most common subtypes of morphea identified. Forty-one patients (53%) had an associated functional impairment, and 49 patients (64%) had severe disease. Twelve patients received initial treatment with mycophenolate as monotherapy or combination therapy and 65 patients received mycophenolate after prior treatment was ineffective (50 of 65 [77%]) or poorly tolerated (21 of 65 [32%]). Treatments prior to mycophenolate included methotrexate (48 of 65 [74%]), systemic corticosteroids (42 of 65 [65%]), hydroxychloroquine (20 of 65 [31%]), and/or phototherapy (14 of 65 [22%]). After 3 to 6 months of mycophenolate treatment, 66 of 73 patients had stable (n = 22) or improved (n = 44) disease. After 9 to 12 months of treatment, 47 of 54 patients had stable (n = 14) or improved (n = 33) disease. Twenty-seven patients (35%) achieved disease remission at completion of the study. Treatments received in conjunction with mycophenolate were frequent. Mycophenolate was well tolerated. Gastrointestinal adverse effects were the most common (24 [31%]); cytopenia (3 [4%]) and infection (2 [3%]) occurred less frequently. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study suggests that mycophenolate is a well-tolerated and beneficial treatment of recalcitrant, severe morphea.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Arthur, M; Fett, NM; Latour, E; Jacobe, H; Kunzler, E; Florez-Pollack, S; Houser, J; Sharma, S; Prasad, S; Femia, A; Stern, MJ; Pappas-Taffer, LK; Gaffney, R; Fernandez, AP; Knabel, D; Cardones, AR; Leung, N; Laumann, A; Yu, JM; Zhao, J; Vleugels, RA; Tkachenko, E; Lo, K

Published Date

  • May 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 156 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 521 - 528

PubMed ID

  • 32236497

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7113833

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2168-6084

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.0035


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States