Psoriasis L40.-

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

Co-Autors: Jeton Luzha, Hadrian Tran

Our authors

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

Synonym(s)

Psoriasis

History
This section has been translated automatically.

Willan 1799

Definition
This section has been translated automatically.

Frequent, acute or chronic polygenic skin disease with T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease, provoked by exogenous and endogenous stimuli, occurring at all stages of life and affecting about 2% of the Central European population. Clinically there are characteristic, stretched, localized or generalized, mostly symmetrical, varying degrees of increased consistency (palpation findings leathery firm), sharply defined, red or with white scales covered papules or plaques. Joint involvement of varying degrees is found in 30% of psoriatics.

Classification
This section has been translated automatically.

Clinical variants of psoriasis (vulgaris) with partly very different forms of progression are:

The individual clinical forms are defined on the one hand by their course (acute - chronic), on the other hand by their localisation (psoriasis inversa, psoriasis palmo-plantaris) or by the appearance of pustules (pustular psoriasis) or by other organ manifestations (psoriasis arthropathica).

The severity of psoriasis can be classified according to the percentage of the affected body surface (KOF) or according to the PASI score.

  • Mild psoriasis < 2%KOF (PASI < 5)
  • moderate psoriasis 2-10%KOF (PASI 5-20)
  • severe psoriasis: > 10%KOF (PASI >20)

Occurrence/Epidemiology
This section has been translated automatically.

Prevalence of psoriasis in different countries:

  • Germany: 1-2% (-3%) of the population. If one parent is affected, the prevalence is around 14%.
  • Denmark: 2.9% of the population.
  • Sweden: 2.3% of the population.
  • USA: 2.2% of the population (several American studies have also described prevalences between 4.0-4.7%).
  • China: 1.7% of the population.
  • UK: 1.6% of the population.
  • Sweden: 1.4% of the population.
  • Norway: 1.4% of the population.
  • Spain: 1.4% of the population.
  • India: 0,7% of the population.
  • Africa: 0.4-0.7% of the population.
  • East Africa: 0.7% of the population.

Prevalences of 0.1-1.0% are given for children. In a larger collective (n= 293,181 children) the prevalence was 0.45% (Jacobi et al. 2016).

Etiopathogenesis
This section has been translated automatically.

I. Endogenous factors

Genetic factors: it is undisputed that genetic disposition plays a decisive role. Genes associated with psoriasis are based on different genetic factors. chromosomes (polygenetic inheritance). A genetic risk factor is PSORS1 (acronym for PSORiasis- S = susceptibility locus), a susceptibility locus within the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome locus 6p21.3. PSORS1 is the main predisposing factor for psoriasis in the early years of life (type I psoriasis). The susceptibility locus PSORS2 (gene locus: 17q24-q25) with the associated genes for RUNX-1 and RAPTOR, PSORS3 (gene locus: 4q) PSORS4 (gene locus: 1cen-q21), PSORS5 (gene locus: 3q21), PSORS6 (gene locus: 19p), PSORS7 (gene locus: 1p), PSORS8 (gene locus: 4q31) have various other functions in psoriatic inflammation. Apparently a genetic network with a "variable, disease-typical gene signature that can be activated by various factors" exists. In psoriasis (see also atopic eczema), this gene network is influenced by inflammatory (Th1 and Th17 cells) cytokines (e.g. interferon gamma/TNF-α). It has been proven that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP+489 variant of allele A) of the TNF-α gene is a significant predisposition for psoriatic arthritis. This TNF-α gene polymorphism is also related to the severity of psoriasis or its response to Etanercept.

HLA: described are associations with HLA-B13, HLA-Bw57, HLA-Cw6, HLA-B27, HLACw2, HLA-DR4 and HLA-DR7. However, HLA-Cw*06:02 seems to play a special role (carriers of this allele are 10 times more likely to be affected by psoriasis).

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs): an overexpression of antimicrobial peptides, in particular cathelicidin, beta-defensin, and psoriasin, seems to play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis (see also the low tendency to infections in psoriasis vulgaris!). It has been shown that cathelicidin LL37 binds and complexes the body's own cytosolic DNA (which is detected in psoriatic keratinocytes!). The complexes can induce an interferon response with an inflammatory reaction (see below Inflammasome).

II Exogenous factors

1st medication: There is reasonable evidence that various drugs are able to maintain or trigger psoriasis vulgaris. These include:

  • beta-blockers (e.g. propanolol)
  • Calcium channel blockers (e.g. diltiazem)
  • Glucocorticoids (especially after discontinuation or reduction of therapy)
  • Lithium
  • Antimalarials (e.g. chloroquine)
  • NSAIDs (Naprofen, Diclofenac, Indomethacin)
  • various antibiotics (e.g. macrolides)
  • Gold
  • In rare cases TNF-alpha blockers in inflammatory bowel disease (see case 2 below)

2. mechanical traumas

3. dermatitis solaris

4. Irritative local therapies

5. infections (e.g. streptococcal angina)

6. emotional stress

Pathophysiology:

Keratinocytes/Keratins: Keratinocyte stimulating mediators (TNF alfa, IL-8, Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor = GM-CSF) cause a proliferation stimulus. The cell cycle of the keratinocytes is accelerated more than 8 times. Cells of the basal cell layer need only 4 days to reach the str. corneum. 25% of keratinocytes (3-fold increase) are in the proliferative S-cell cycle phase. Such proliferation-promoting mediators are also produced by keratinocytes themselves(interleukins - IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17A, interferon gamma, TNF, transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) and GM-CSF (see below growth factors). Furthermore, interleukins 17 and 22 are responsible for keratinocyte hyperplasia. These are produced by the Th17 cells. The structural proteins of the keratinocytes are also altered (reduction of suprabasal keratins 1 and 10; neo-expression of keratins 6 and 16). The role of the cytokine"thymic stromal lymphopoietin", which is produced in psoriatic keratinocytes, has not yet been finally clarified.

Autoantigens: Various potential autoantigens are important for psoriatic inflammation, such as the ADAMTS-like protein 5 expressed by melanocytes and the antimicrobial peptide LL37. Both proteins are recognized by TH17 cells after binding to the protein HLA-C*06:02 (seeHLA system) and thus initiate psoriatic inflammation. Remarkable is a structural homology of keratin 17 with M-proteins of streptococci. In this respect keratin 17 also presents itself as a potential autoantigen. Furthermore, heat shock proteins (HSP) seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriatic inflammation. For example, HSP 90 has been linked to the survival of affected cells and cytokine signaling in psoriasis patients.

Lymphocyte/homing signals: probably at the beginning of the psoriatic inflammation cascade are activated dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, which are stimulated to secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, IL-23 and TNF-alpha. This activates interferon gamma producing CD4+ T lymphocytes. This process leads to the maturation of naive T cells into Th17 cells and other inflammatory Th cell populations like Th-1 lymphocytes (Th1 lymphocytes; no IL-4 production). Th-1 lymphocytes (as well as Th17 cells) play a central role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis (blocking of CD4-T lymphocytes by anti-CD4-AK leads to a clinical improvement of psoriasis, other lymphocyte-suppressive drugs such as Ciclosporin, fumaric acid ester, also PUVA therapy, cause this effect, among others). The activated T-lymphocytes receive an "address" through the expression of certain surface markers, thus defining the place where they are needed. These so-called "homing" signals, which are mediated by cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigens (CLA), enable the lymphocytes to infiltrate both compartments, epidermis and dermis. In psoriatic patients, it has been shown that inflammatory T cells produce the receptor alpha-1-beta-1-integrin (VLA-1) directed against collagen IV (collagen of the basement membrane). This integrin is expressed on epidermal lymphocytes in lesional (not unaffected) skin. This suggests that epidermal T cells are central effectors in psoriasis. Blocking VLA-1 significantly inhibits the migration of human VLA-1 expressing T cells.

Dendritic cells: Dendritic cells (DCs) are outposts of the immune system and are the link between the specific (acquired) and non-specific (innate) immune system (see below, Immunity, innate / acquired). As so-called professional APs they express both antigen-presenting HLA class II molecules and co-stimulating molecules. Myeloid DCs are increasingly found in the psoriatic lesion. Under PUVA the lesional myeloid DCs decrease.

Chemokines: The infiltrating Th1 lymphocytes interact with different dermal and epidermal cell systems. A number of chemokines, chemokine receptors, integrins and adhesion molecules are involved (CCR5, CXCR3 receptors, E-selectin, LFA-1, ICAM-1, VLA-4, VCAM-1, etc.). These promote the adhesion of T-lymphocytes and neutrophilic granulocytes. Furthermore IL-8 and RANTES (see below chemokines), which induce the migration of certain T-lymphocytes.

Inflammatory mediators (see below cytokines): In psoriatic inflammation, numerous inflammatory mediators are detected: TNF-alpha, IL-8, IL-19. Peripheral mononuclear cells show increased titers of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, monocytes produce increased amounts of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-8. The detection of these pro-inflammatory mediators proves that psoriasis is not only a local inflammation but also a systemic disease.

Endothelial cells: Angiogenesis factors (ESAF = Endothelial cell stimulating angiogenesis factor; Vascular endothelial growth factor = VEGF ) are strongly increased in the psoriatic lesion and in serum. They cause vascular proliferation. ESAF is mainly formed by keratinocytes and fibroblasts, VEGF by keratinocytes. The activated dermal capillaries express adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, ELAM-1, VCAM-1) that enable CD4+ T lymphocytes to dock to the endothelium and penetrate through the vessel wall. The role of nitrogen oxides (NO) (INF-gamma is an inducer of NO), which have a vasodilating effect, is still unclear.

Manifestation
This section has been translated automatically.

  • Occurrence is possible at any age. Predominantly occurring in the 2nd to 3rd decade of life (type I), more rarely in the 5th decade of life (type II). The prevalence in < 20-year-olds is 0.8%.
  • No gender preference.
  • 2/3 of psoriatics suffer from mild psoriasis, often not requiring treatment. About 80% have nail infections.
  • A distinction is made between age of manifestation and association with HLA alleles:
    • Type I psoriasis (manifestation maximum between the ages of 20 and 30; association with the alleles Cw6, B13, B57, DRB1). Association with streptococcal infections detectable.
    • Type II psoriasis (manifestation maximum between the ages of 50 and 60; association with the HLA alleles Cw2, B27).
    • HLA-Cw6-positive psoriatics have a 10-fold increased risk of disease with a preferred type of disease: Younger age of manifestation, often guttate psoriasis type, severe course of the disease.
    • Associations with the HLA genes CW6, B13, B17, B27, DR7 are known for psoriasis arthropathica.
  • Genetic studies show that type I and type II psoriasis are different diseases.
  • The average duration of the disease in psoriatic patients is 21.8 years (1.0-66 years).

Localization
This section has been translated automatically.

Infestation pattern (MAPP study - 3,426 patients): elbows (46%), capillitium (45%), knees (31%), trunk (24%), face (15%), palms (12%), soles (11%), nails (11%), genital area (7%).

Joint symptoms in psoriasis patients with primary skin involvement: knee (45%), fingers (19%), hip (16%), spine (14%), ankle (11%), wrist (8%)

Clinical features
This section has been translated automatically.

The skin changes of psoriasis most frequently manifest themselves in the chronic inpatient form with variously sized, inflammatory reddened, sharply defined plaques covered by silvery scales (depending on the pre-treatment, these can be completely absent). This form can occur in both type I psoriasis and type II psoriasis.

The acute exanthematic form shows a strong eruption pressure and is preferred in type I psoriasis. Episodes are often triggered by infections with beta-hemolytic Group A Streptococci.

Due to the disease activity (relapse activity) and the resulting therapeutic consequences, it is useful to distinguish between the:

(relapsing psoriasis).

Diagnostically important is the triggering of different "psoriasis phenomena" within the foci:

Other clinical variants of psoriasis are:

Changes in the oral mucosa are usually only observed in pustular psoriasis generalisata.

Joint and skeletal involvement (in about 30% of patients with psoriasis) see below.:

Psoriasis arthropathica

Arthritis psoriatic (psoriasiarthritis)

Histology
This section has been translated automatically.

  • The psoriasis papule, which has not been pre-treated, typically shows hyper- and severe parahyperkeratosis, acanthosis and papillomatosis. Elongated narrow reticules, which may be bulbous at their lower end; apically bulbous papillary bodies, focal suprapapillary epidermal thinning with missing stratum granulosum; elongated dilated capillary loops; subcorneal or intracorneal Munro microabscesses.
  • Diffusely distributed lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrates are found in the upper and middle dermis. Perivascular inflammatory infiltrates of histiocytes, predominantly CD4-positive lymphocytes and usually few polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes are found in the upper and middle dermis sections; there is a varying degree of epidermotropy with only slight signs of spongiosis (DD. eczema reaction).

Differential diagnosis
This section has been translated automatically.

In the differential diagnosis of psoriasis, the predominant manifestation type plays the decisive role (see below). It is not difficult to diagnose psoriasis vulgaris untreated and in full clinical expression. It becomes more difficult with the clinical variants of the psoriasis family (see below pustular psoriasis, arthropathic psoriasis). Here, completely different clinical pictures will have to be taken into consideration in terms of differential diagnosis (differential diagnosis, see there). The differential diagnosis of psoriasis vulgaris is referred to depending on the subtype (see above).

Complication(s)
This section has been translated automatically.

  • Coronary heart disease: Recent evidence suggests that psoriasis is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. Only 40% of psoriatics are free of coronary calcifications compared to 72% of the control group with non-psoriatics. In addition, the proportion of severe calcifications and stenoses as well as myocardial infarctions is significantly higher among psoriatic patients than among non-psoriatic patients. An analogous risk spectrum, which is reduced under therapy with TNF-alpha blockers, is also found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity: Significantly increased is an increased BMI as well as an increased abdominal and hip circumference in psoriatic patients.
  • Psoriasis patients are more likely to fulfil the criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS) than the average population; there is also increased insulin resistance.
  • Psoriatic patients have an increased risk of hypertension. The use of beta-receptor blockers appears to significantly increase the risk of new onset or exacerbation of psoriasis.
  • Patients with psoriasis more often develop regional enteritis (Crohn's disease).
  • Celilakia: In a larger collective, antibodies against a tissue transglutaminase could be detected in 4% of the psoriatic patients (non-psoriatic control collective 0.4%). A gluten-free diet also leads to an improvement in psoriasis.
  • Alcohol and smoking are trigger factors for psoriasis.

General therapy
This section has been translated automatically.

Basics: Due to the expansion of the range of drugs, in recent years increasingly potent local and systemic antipsoriatics have become available to medicine. The increasing understanding of cutaneous immunological processes opens up several possibilities of therapeutic intervention. For this purpose, a number of immunosuppressive drugs and modulators are available, others are under development. They can be divided into 5 groups according to their principle of action:

  • inhibitors of effector cytokines (especially TNF-alpha)
  • T-cell proliferation inhibitors
  • T-cell activation inhibitors
  • Inhibitors of T-cell migration
  • Modulators of the immune response
  • Keratinocyte proliferation inhibitor.

However, the systemic therapies are often associated with not inconsiderable side effects. The treatment costs to be paid for this must also be taken into account, which range between 2,000-30,000 euros per year, depending on the therapeutic agent. In this respect, systemic antipsoriatric drugs should only be used after very careful indication. The therapy must be closely monitored by the treating physician. He must be closely familiar with the modalities of action and the side effect profile of the preparations. The duration of the treatment must always be questioned.

Therapy combinations: As clinical studies are almost exclusively evaluated as monotherapies, combination therapies (system therapy/system therapy, system therapy+external therapy; external therapy+external therapy, etc.) are a practical necessity.

Climatotherapy: Stays of several weeks in a marine or high mountain climate are often very effective for a few weeks or months, but their effectiveness is limited after the end of the stay. Cures have proven themselves, e.g. at the North or Baltic Sea as well as at the Dead Sea (German Medical Center (DMZ) at the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek, Israel or Dead Sea Spa Medical Center in Jordan).

Psoriasis and tonsillectomy: Opinions on the success of tonsillectomy are divided. Carriers of the HLA-Cw6 allele are 10 times more likely to suffer from psoriasis. The homocytology of HLA-Cw6 is associated with a higher risk of disease. At the same time, these patients frequently suffer from streptococcal-based pharyngitis. Apparently, this special psoriasis clientele benefits from tonsillectomy.

External therapy
This section has been translated automatically.

The classic external treatment methods are: dithranol, retinoids, salicylic acid, urea, glucocorticoids, vitamin D3 analogues, phototherapy (UV therapy), balneo-phototherapy, tacrolimus (strictest indication because of unclear long-term side effects! Off-Label-Use!), Pimecrolimus (strictest indication because of unclear long-term side effects! Off-Label-Use!).

Vitamin D3 analogues:

  • calcipotriol: In 0,005% ointment base (e.g. Daivonex, Psorcutan) for ambulant therapy well suited. Cave! Resorptive NW (hypercalcemia, nephrocalcinosis)! Limit the daily amount to 10 g, the weekly amount to 100 g. Treated skin area < 30% of the KO. Application 2 times/day, if necessary also under occlusion. Possible irritation in the facial area. Combination with glucocorticoids is possible (e.g. Daivobet®; this combination is also available as spray foam - Enstilar®).
  • Calcitriol: (Silkis 3 μg/g ointment). Due to the exact fit at the vitamin D3 receptor concentration of 0.0003% sufficient. Daily amount limited to 30 g (weekly dose 210 g), treatable skin area 35% KO, application 2 times/day. Also in intertriginous skin areas and with caution on the face.
  • Tacalcitol (Curatoderm): application 1 time / day. Treatment of the facial area and, if necessary, of intertriginous skin areas is possible. In 0.0004% ointment base and emulsion for application 1mal/day, also suitable for sensitive areas. Approved for children over 12 years, maximum daily amount 10 g.
  • Vitamin D3 analogues in rotation with dithranol (psoradexane) have proved particularly successful. If necessary in combination with UVB-irradiation.

Retinoids:

  • Tazarotenes: (Zorac 0.05% and 0.1% gel) 1 time per day. Cave! Irritative effect! Allow the preparation to be absorbed well, no reapplication of cream.

Dithranol:

  • In-patient treatment: Classical dithranol long-term therapy (see table 1) with increasing concentrations (psoradexan, psoradexan mite/forte). The dithranol ointment (vaseline based) is provided with a 2% salicylic acid addition for reasons of preservation. Treatment is always carried out 2 times/day. Start with 0.05% dithranol, increase depending on the skin condition to 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, 2% to max. 3% R076 R074. A rotation principle (see table 2) with dithranol alternating with medium strong glucocorticoids like 0.1% betamethasone cream(e.g. Betagalen, R029 ) or 0.1% triamcinolone cream (e.g.triamgalene, R259 ) or a 0.05% calcipotriol ointment (e.g. Daivonex ointment, psorcutan ointment) or also tacalcitol (Curatoderm), see also interval therapy, tandem therapy. Supplementation by balneo-phototherapy: Before morning ointment therapy, a brine bath in 1% NaCl-solution with a bath duration of 25-20 minutes. Initial dose 1/3 of the individual MED. Increase every 3 days by the initial dose.
  • Resistance to therapy: Individual psoriasis plaques (knee, elbow, sacrum) have proven to be very resistant to therapy. At these sites, dithranol is applied under an occlusive foil such as hydrocolloid foils (e.g. Varihesive Foil) or simple household foil, alternating with glucocorticoid ointments if necessary, over a period of 2 hours twice a day.
  • Outpatient treatment: Dithranol minute or short-term therapy. Use of dithranol in washable ointment base R074. Alternatively, ready-to-use preparations are available in different concentrations for short-term therapy (e.g. Psoradexan mite/forte, Micanol).

Glucocorticoids:

  • Contraindicated as the sole therapeutic principle in cases of extensive psoriasis (danger of systemic side effects due to absorption of the highly potent external glucocorticoids). In a few chronically inpatient foci, initial therapy with glucocorticoid ointments/creams is acceptable. Combinations of glucocorticoid externa with salicylic acid have proven to be effective.
  • Mometasone furoate (Ecural fat cream), betamethasone valerate (Betnesol, Betagalen, R029 ), 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide (Triamgalen, R260 ), amcinonide (Amciderm ointment/fatty ointment). Cave! Glucocorticoids are not antipsoriatics, they suppress the inflammation for a few days!

Salicylic acid: this keratolytic and anti-inflammatory agent is rightly used based on the good and decades of clinical experience. The study documents for this form of therapy are inadequate and are not expected to improve in the next decades. Nevertheless, the use of a 2-10% application form can be recommended without hesitation.

Calcineurin inhibitors: The topical treatment with calcineurin inhibitors is useful and successful for defined foci. Successes have been described for Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus also at the psoriasis inversa.

Coal tar: Low effectiveness; lack of compliance due to the inherent odour of the tar preparations! Tar preparations can no longer be recommended today because of potential long-term side effects.

Radiation therapy
This section has been translated automatically.

  • SUP: Favourable effects can be achieved by selective ultraviolet phototherapy (SUP), which uses UVB rays with an emission maximum at 305 and 325 nm. In particular in combination with dithranol ointments and brine baths, this form of therapy has proven to be effective in the treatment of chronic inpatient psoriasis. Disadvantage: High expenditure of time, as usually about 30 applications are necessary to achieve a satisfactory result. UVB 311 nm narrow spectrum irradiation is preferable to conventional UVB broadband therapy due to better or at least the same therapeutic effectiveness and at the same time less erythema. It is recommended to use 70% of the previously determined MED as the first therapeutic dose.
  • If the psoriasis is moderate, UVB irradiation which can be localized precisely is preferable due to the significantly lower UV exposure, e.g. with B-Clear (high equipment acquisition costs!).
  • Balneophototherapy: Several larger studies (evidence level Ib) prove a superiority of a brine UVB therapy compared to pure UVB therapy.

    Notice! In the execution of this treatment method the required brine concentrations between 4.5-12% prove to be only conditionally practicable!

  • In principle, phototherapy can be combined with systemic therapies. Experience is available for MTX. There are no discernible contraindications for fumarates. For Ciclosporin A the combination has to be rejected because of its increased carcinogenicity. X-ray pre-irradiated skin areas should be covered during phototherapy.
  • Photochemotherapy (see PUVA therapy below): The combination of PUVA therapy with internal administration of retinoids ( RePUVA therapy = retinoid + PUVA) can reduce the total radiation exposure.
  • Balneophotochemotherapy (see PUVA bath therapy below): Here, the external application of methoxaline is carried out via a full-body bath, a partial bath or a shower application. Due to the higher concentration of methoxypsoralen on the skin surface, a reduction of the applied total UVA dose can be achieved compared to systemic PUVA therapy. Treatment scheme, see below PUVA bath therapy.
  • Photodynamic therapy: This is a therapeutic option, although the data situation cannot yet be conclusively assessed. Likewise, no standardized instructions for use have been established as yet.

Internal therapy
This section has been translated automatically.

The indication for systemic therapy of psoriasis must be subject to particularly strict conditions.

  • The classical external treatment methods should be sufficiently exhausted.
  • Only if no acceptable skin condition can be achieved by the external therapy approaches, a system therapy should be applied.

Thus, systemic therapies are reserved for the most severe and severe forms. These include the chronically active, therapy-resistant, large-area psoriasis vulgaris, pustular psoriasis, psoriatic erythroderma, all forms of psoriasis arthropathica which cannot be sufficiently treated monotherapeutically with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, severe therapy-resistant psoriasis capitis as well as psoriasis palmaris et plantaris.

Requirements for the systemic therapy of psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis should not or no longer be controllable with the available local therapeutic agents, so that long (more than two months per year) periods of illness with considerable suffering pressure exist.
  • The effectiveness of the systemic therapeutic agent must be proven beyond doubt.
  • The System Therapeutic Product shall act rapidly (within four weeks) and produce long-term clinical freedom of appearance.
  • Even if the preparation is applied over a long period of time (several months), no permanent, therapy-induced organ damage may occur which limits life or restricts the individual quality of life beyond that primarily caused by the disease.
  • Possible acute side effects must be recognizable by the usual clinical examination techniques and laboratory parameters and must be controllable with simple means.
  • It must be possible to carry out the therapy on an outpatient basis; the therapeutic scope should be such that check-ups are not necessary more often than every four weeks.

Authorisations:

  • Medicines authorised for psoriasis: Acitretin, Ciclosporin A, Methotrexate, Ustekinumab, Adalimumab, Infliximab, Etanercept, Brodalumab, Apremilast, Fumaric acid esters, Glucocorticoids, PUVA therapy (systemic), Bathing PUVA therapy.
  • Medicines authorised for psoriatic arthritis: Etanercept, Infliximab, Leflunomide, Golimumab.
  • Off-label use with known efficacy in psoriasis: mycophenolate mofetil, Alefacept (approved in USA).

Therapeutics in detail:

  • Fumaric acid esters: Favourable benefit-risk ratio. Therapy suitable as a long-term therapy. Regular laboratory checks are necessary. The pharmacological effects of fumaric acid esters are not yet sufficiently known. Probable are an antiproliferative effect on lymphocytes and a selective immunomodulatory antipsoriatic effect on activated T-lymphocytes. Especially good effects of FAE are observed in chronic plaque psoriasis. But also localized or generalized exudative forms of psoriasis such as pustulosa generalisata or pustulosis palmaris et plantaris respond well to fumarates. Good effects are also observed in psoriasis capitis. Significant improvements in psoriatic nail involvement have been reported in several studies, 30-40% of cases are improved under FAE therapy. Treatment starts in the 1st week of therapy with 1 Tbl. Fumaderm initially, is increased by 1 Tbl. in the 2nd week; then transition to 1 Tbl. Fumaderm; further weekly increase by 1 Tbl./day Fumaderm. Max. dosage depending on clinical effect 6 Tbl. Fumaderm/day. The maintenance dose is between 1 and 6 Tbl. Fumaderm. Side effects are mainly flush symptoms (1/2 hour to 6 hours after ingestion); flush symptoms persist for minutes to half an hour. With increasing duration of the therapy the flush symptoms decrease significantly. Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps may occur. These symptoms also decrease under therapy; mild to distinct lymphopenia are regular concomitants of therapy; eosinophilia is less frequent. The dose should be adjusted in cases of leukopenia, a decrease in the lymphocyte count < 500/µl, persistent eosinophilia > 25%, increase in creatinine > 30% or massive tubular proteinuria. Combinations with other systemic antipsoriatric drugs such as MTX or Ciclosporin or retinoids are currently not recommended due to lack of experience. Laboratory tests with blood count, liver and kidney function control and urine status are required 4 weeks a week. Although teratogenicity has not been proven, FAE must not be given during pregnancy.
  • Acitretin (Neotigason): Vitamin A derivative used in Europe as a systemic therapeutic agent in psoriasis therapy. The best effects are found in pustular psoriasis or in erythrodermal forms. Acitretin causes a rapid loss of psoriatic scaling. Clinical freedom of appearance is achieved in almost 25% of patients with psoriasis vulgaris. Dosage: Initial 0.5-1.0 mg/kg bw; as a maintenance dose 0.1 (max. 0.2) mg/kg bw should not be exceeded. Acitretin is characterized by high lipophilicity, which leads to an accumulation of the preparation in fatty tissue during long-term therapy. The very delayed release of acitretin after discontinuation of the preparation results in a half-life of 80-100 days. This has considerable consequences with regard to the known teratogenicity of the preparation and considerably reduces the possible applications of the preparation in women of childbearing age (contraception up to 2 years after discontinuation of the preparation). Acitretin can be used in combination with radiation therapy (ReSUP; RePUVA).
  • Ciclosporin A: High response rate. Nephrotoxicity and possible carcinogenicity in long-term therapy are known NW. Ciclosporin A (Cy A) represents a fast acting, systemic treatment strategy. Clinical success is achieved within days to a few weeks. Ciclosporin is particularly effective in severe therapy-resistant psoriasis arthropathica. But also generalised plaque psoriasis, pustular forms and psoriatic erythroderma respond to Ciclosporin. Dosage: 2.5 - max. 7.5 mg/kg bw p.o. Regular laboratory checks, especially of the blood, liver and kidney status, are required.
  • Glucocorticoids: Can only be used for a very short period of time in case of high relapse activity of psoriasis. Glucocorticoids are to be rejected as systemic long-term antipsoriatics. Their use generally leads to prompt clinical effects. In this respect, they can be used in a medium-high dosage (100-150 mg prednisolone) in highly exudative forms of psoriasis (e.g. in an acute flare of pustular psoriasis) for a short period (2-3 days). Regardless of the negative evaluation of systemic glucocorticoids, they are most frequently prescribed by internists and general practitioners of all systemic therapeutics (!).
  • Methotrexate (MTX): Indication is especially the psoriasis arthropathica. MTX has a proven clinical effect in moderate and severe psoriasis vulgaris. MTX is suitable for this indication according to the German and European S3 guidelines. MTX can also be used in combination with Etanercept - Adalimumab or Fumaraten in severe exudative forms of psoriasis such as pustular psoriasis of the Zumbusch type. In the pustular forms of psoriasis, the MTX effect is explained by the proven inhibitory effect of MTX on the psoriatic's neutrophilic leucocytes. Dosage: Test dose: To detect hematologic hypersensitivity, initial application of 2.5 mg p.o. or i.m.; after 5-7 days check blood count; if neutrophil leukocytes are not present. Leukocytes below normal value: stop therapy.
    • Multiphase therapy: Weekly oral application of 2.5-5.0 mg twice a week at intervals of 12 hours.
    • Single-phase therapy: Weekly single oral application of 7.5-25 mg MTX.

Acute toxicity is rare (elderly people with impaired kidney function). In case of critical drop of leukocytes below an average dose of methotrexate, immediate administration of leucovorin (3.0-6.0 mg folic acid = 1 or 2 amp. leucovorin i.v. or i.m.). Then administer the same dose again 4 times at 3-6 hourly intervals. In contrast, long-term application causes liver damage in about 33% of patients. Liver fibrosis is observed in max. 10% of patients and liver cirrhosis in 5% of patients. Regular checks of blood, liver and kidney values (every 14 days) are necessary. Half-yearly sonographic liver examinations are also recommended. If gastrointestinal side effects should occur, intracutaneous administration is recommended. A comparison of MTX and fumarates in severe plaque psoriasis (PASI initial value between 14 and 18) showed equivalence in the treatment groups.

  • Apremilast (Otezla®), an oral thalidomide analogue (phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor), which was developed by Celegene for the indications spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or arthropathic psoriasis and psoriasis vulgaris. In the phase III study (ESTEEM) patients with moderate to severe psoriasis were treated with 30mg 2x/day apremilast for 52 weeks. At week 16, 28.8% of those treated achieved a PASI-75 response (5.8% on placebo).

Monoclonal antibodies

  • TNF-α inhibitor

    • Etanercept (Enbrel®): Fusion protein (dimeric protein) of human tumor necrosis factor receptor and human IgG1, which specifically binds to TNF-α, biologically inactivates it and thus prevents the interaction of the molecule with its membrane receptor. The preparation Enbrel is approved for the treatment of plaque-type psoriasis vulgaris in children (from the 6th LJ) and adolescents as well as in adults. The effect of the preparation usually starts after the first injection. Should not be prescribed during pregnancy and lactation (insufficient data available). Dosage (Pat. > 5 years): 2 times/week 25 mg s.c. Alternatively: 2 times/week 50 mg s.c. for up to 12 weeks, then 2 times/week 25 mg s.c. Treatment until remission, for a maximum of 24 weeks in total. Treatment discontinuation in patients who have not responded after 12 weeks. Intermittent therapy approaches do not lead to therapy resistance. Note: Approved for children > 5 years of age in severe juvenile plaque psoriasis. The combination of Etanercept with retinoids has been described as successful. Also the combination with MTX. Note: an Etanercept biosimilar (Erelzi®) is approved for rheumatological and dermatological indications (e.g. plaque psoriasis) and is equally effective and safe.

    • Adalimumab (Humira): The active ingredient neutralizes the biological functions of TNF-alpha by highly specific binding to the TNF-alpha molecules and inhibition of the interaction with the cellular p55 and p75 TNF receptors. Secondarily, the production and secretion of IL-1 and IL-6 as well as leukocyte migration and expression of adhesion molecules are inhibited. The combination with low-dose MTX is recommended to avoid the formation of autoantibodies against adalimumab. In case of intolerance to MTX also applicable as monotherapy. Dosage: Adults/adolescents > 18 yrs.: once/14 days 40 mg s.c. Recent studies indicate that not only arthritis but also skin symptoms can be improved by adalimumab. Adalimumab has been approved by the EU as a first-line therapy.
    • Infliximab (Remicade): Chimeric monoclonal antibody (mouse-human) which inhibits the pro-inflammatory signal transduction chain by binding TNF-α. Approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, psoriasis vulgaris and psoriasis arthropathica. Dosage: 5 mg/kg bw i.v. for about 2 hours. Good, rapidly occurring results after only one application with disease-free intervals of up to 3-4 months. In case of recurrence, a new treatment cycle should be carried out within 14 weeks to minimise the risk of hypersensitivity reactions (sensitisation to chimeric antibodies). Although only described in rare cases, emergency precautions (presence of a physician during application, adrenaline, corticosteroids and antihistamines) should be taken to treat possible anaphylactoid incidents. An exclusion of active tuberculosis must be made. Tb screening with Quantiferon-TB-Gold-Test and an X-ray thorax (not older than 6 months) are recommended.
  • Interleukin-12 (IL-12) and -23 (IL-23) antibodies:
    • Ustekinumab (Stelara): Human monoclonal antibody directed against the p40 subunits of the cytokines interleukin-12 (IL-12) and -23 (IL-23). The differentiation of Th1 lymphocytes is moderated, as is the IL-23/IL-17A axis of the TH17 immune response. Approved for the treatment of moderately severe to severe plaque psoriasis in adults in whom other basic therapies (e.g. MTX, Ciclosporin A, Fumarate, PUVA therapy) have failed or been insufficiently effective or in whom contraindications or intolerances have been present. Dosage: At the beginning of therapy and after 4 weeks 45 mg s.c. each. Maintenance dose: 45 mg s.c. every 12 weeks. Compared to Etanercept, Ustekinumab shows the highest 5-year efficacy (Zweegers J et al. 2017).
  • IL-17 antibody:
    • Brodalumab (Kyntheum® - approval 09.2017 ): Recombinant, fully human, monoclonal immunoglobulin IgG2 antibody. The antibody binds with high affinity to human IL-17RA (interleukin-17 receptor) and thus inhibits the biological activities of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-17A, IL-17C, IL-17F, IL-17A / F-heterodimer and IL-25, resulting in broad inhibition of psoriatic inflammation. Indication: Medium to severe plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris). Directly approved in the EU for first-line treatment. Approved in the USA under the name Siliq® only as second-line therapy.
    • Secukinumab: the anti-Il-17A antibody Secukinumab (Cosentyx®), a monoclonal antibody introduced in the FEATURE and JUCTURE studies, each with strong clinical results. Dosage: 150/300 mg s.c. every 4 weeks. Secukinumab was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in January 2015 for the primary systemic treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients requiring systemic treatment. A 5-year control study demonstrated a consistently high response rate to the product. In 2016, the indication was expanded to include psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis).
  • Anti-Il-23 antibody
    • Guselkumab (Tremfya®), a monoclonal antibody that demonstrated superiority to adalimumab in the VOYAGE-1 study in medium to severe psoriasis. Guselkumab can be used as first-line therapy in adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis since November 2017. The human monoclonal antibody selectively targets the "master cytokine" interleukin-23 (IL-23). This cytokine plays an important role in the inflammatory process in psoriasis: the cytokine activates a specific subpopulation of T cells, TH1 and TH17, which mediate TNF-α - triggering inflammation in psoriasis.
    • Tildrakizumab (Ilumetri®)is a humanized IgG1/k monoclonal antibody (produced in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, CHO cells) with anti-inflammatory and selective immunosuppressive activity. Tildrakizumab is used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. The effects are based on the binding and inactivation of the cytokine interleukin-23 (IL-23).

    • Risankizumab is a humanized monoclonal IgG1/k antibody (produced in Chinese hamster ovarian cells, CHO cells) with anti-inflammatory and selective immunosuppressive activity. Risankizumab is used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. The effects are based on the binding and inactivation of the cytokine interleukin-23 (IL-23). The response to risankizumab was significantly better compared to ustekinumab. The co-primary endpoint, appearance-free or almost appearance-free skin was achieved after 16 weeks of therapy in 84% and 88% of patients, respectively.

Approved preparations for psoriatic arthritis:

  • Etanercept (Enbrel): Approval for juvenile idiopathic arthritis from the age of 4 years
  • Infliximab (Remicade): See above.
  • Leflunomide (Arava): The active metabolite inhibits among other things dihydrooratate dehydrogenase, a key enzyme in pyrimidine and thus nucleic acid biosynthesis, among other things in the de novo synthesis of activated lymphocytes. Leflunomid prevents the de novo synthesis of pyrimidine and thus blocks the proliferation of activated lymphocytes. Over time, not enough activated lymphocytes are available to maintain the chronic inflammatory process. Results of clinical studies suggest that Leflunomid shows good efficacy in patients with psoriatic arthritis and seronegative spondylarthritis. However, no major systematic studies have been conducted to date. Dosage: Level saturation: 1 tablet (100 mg) p.o. once/day. From day 4: 1 tablet a day with only 20 (10) mg p.o. The reduced dose of 10 mg a day is recommended if intolerance occurs with the higher dose of 20 mg a day. However, in these cases the efficacy is also reduced. Clinical effect occurs on average after 14 days. About 75% of patients benefit after 1-2 months. Side effects include GI complaints, headaches, hepatotoxicity and exanthema.
  • Golimumab: 1 time per month 50 mg s.c. (on the same day of each month), possibly in combination with the individually required dose of MTX.
  • Adalimumab (Humira®): See above.

Not (or not yet) approved drugs with known effectiveness in psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis (off-label use):

  • Alefacept (Amevive): Immunosuppressive fusion protein (dimer) consisting of an extracellular CD2 binding site of leukocyte functional antigen 3 (LFA-3) and portions of IgG1. Effects: Inhibition of lymphocyte activation by specific binding to CD2 and inhibition of LFA-3/CD2 interaction. Indication: In moderately severe and severe forms of psoriasis vulgaris which require systemic treatment. Dosage: Once/week 7.5 mg Alefacept i.v. or once/week 15 mg i.m. for 12 weeks. If necessary, repeat the therapy cycle after a 12-week therapy break. Contraindication: Lymphocytopenia at planned start of therapy. Weekly control of the lymphocyte subpopulations, especially of the CD4-lymphocytes in the differential blood count!k
  • Tacrolimus (Prograf): active substance from the group of immunomodulating macrolactams. Tacrolimus inhibits the initial T cell activation, the differentiation and proliferation of cytotoxic T cells as well as specifically the expression of E-selectin (adhesion molecule on endothelial cells). Indication: Severe forms of psoriasis vulgaris and osteoarthropathia psoriatica. Dosage: 0,1-0,2 mg/day/kg bw p.o. divided into 2 single doses. Under the immunosuppression with Tacrolimus the ventricular wall and septum can thicken, therefore regular echocardiographic examinations are necessary.
  • Mycophenolatmofetil (CellCept): Immunosuppressive agent, ester of mycophenolic acid. Antiproliferative action on lymphocytes and immunosuppressive action by inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase. The influence on cytokine production is still unclear. Indication: In clinical trials for the therapy of severe courses of psoriasis vulgaris and psoriasis arthropathica. Dosage: Psoriasis: Initial 2 times/day 1 g p.o. for 3 weeks, then 2 times/day 0.5 g p.o. for 3 weeks. Psoriasis arthropathica: combination with low-dose acitretin (0.1-0.2 mg/kg bw/day) p.o.

Treatment of psoriasis vulgaris in children and adolescents (see below psoriasis in children).

Progression/forecast
This section has been translated automatically.

Chronic recurrent course with varying lengths of non-appearance intervals.

Naturopathy
This section has been translated automatically.

Order therapy: Avoiding trigger mechanisms, especially friction, infections, stressors. Also some medications such as beta blockers, which can lead to psoriasis attacks, should be considered here.

Climatotherapy and hydrotherapy: brine baths, baths with dead sea salt that can also be done at home, showers with sea salt shower baths have proven to be effective, as well as UV therapy with short-wave UV-B rays in addition to natural tanning.

Phytotherapeutically, extracts of Mahonia aquifolium have proven to be effective, and the following ready-to-use preparations are available on the market: Rubisan ® cream or ointment (see below Mahoniae cortex and Mahoniae radix, see Berberin). In a double-blind placebo-controlled study a significant improvement of psoriatic symptoms was achieved. Especially in problem areas, such as the anal fold, this preparation is well tolerated (Bernstein S et al. 2006).

In case of simultaneously existing psoriatic arthritis, see under arthritis psoriatic

Diet/life habits
This section has been translated automatically.

Patients with psoriasis experience a comparable impairment of the psychological and mental components of their health-related quality of life (HRQL = health-related quality of life) as patients with malignancies, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus and depression.

The success of diets is not proven.

Note(s)
This section has been translated automatically.

The average case costs (outpatients and inpatients) are defined for psoriatic patients by the severity of the case. They fluctuate between 6,700 Euro and 53,000 Euro/year. Inpatients incur costs of 2,300 to 32,000 euros, outpatients incur total costs of 204 to 770 euros. The indirect costs range between 1,300 and 8,200 euro per patient.

The term "psoriasis vulgaris" is used in different ways. It is often used synonymously for the most common form of psoriasis, the "plaque type".

Case report(s)
This section has been translated automatically.

Psoriasis vulgaris and organ transplantation: The 32-year-old patient has been suffering from severe psoriasis vulgaris with generalized integumentary involvement since the age of 20. In 2006, due to Goodpasture's syndrome with pulmonary and renal involvement, an allogenic pancreas and kidney transplantation was performed. The following immunosuppressive therapy consisted permanently of prednisone 7.5 mg/day, tacrolimus 8.5 mg/day and mycophenolate mofetil 1.0 g/day.

  • Psoriasis therapy: The psoriasis therapy before organ transplantation (OTX) included in the first years the usual topical therapy approaches with glucocorticoids, dithranol in different concentrations, bath-PUVA, UVB-irradiation. Later, due to insufficient response of the local therapy, systemic therapy with fumaric acid esters (FAE) in the usual dosages. The FAE had to be discontinued after a few weeks because of intolerable gastrointestinal problems. 2 years after OTX, a permanent and therapy-resistant significant worsening of the skin condition with a PASI of >25 occurred in spite of sufficiently performed topical therapies.
  • New therapy approach: As no sufficient local therapy options were available, a therapy with Etanercept 2 x 25 mg/week was initiated. This resulted in a continuous improvement of the skin condition. After 10 months of etanercept therapy, the patient was largely free of symptoms. No relevant side effects of the therapy had to be observed under this therapy modality.
  • Laboratory: The transplant functions were stable. A new tuberculosis screen(Quantiferon-Test; X-ray thorax) was performed without any problems.
  • Comment: Psoriasis therapy in OTX is particularly challenging due to limited therapeutic options (e.g. phototherapy, side effect spectra of antipsoriatric drugs which may affect graft function), interaction of drugs and psoriatic activity (e.g. due to the varying administration of steroids).
  • Biologics such as Eternacept (or Adalimumab) represent an effective and tolerable treatment option for OTX patients with severe psoriasis, as far as currently available limited experience allows.

Literature
This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Altmeyer P (2007) Dermatological differential diagnosis. The way to clinical diagnosis. Springer Medicine Publishing House, Heidelberg
  2. Bernstein S et al (2006) Treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis with Relieva, a Mahonia aquifolium extract- a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. On.J.Ther 14: 121-126

  3. Celsus AC (50-60 AD) De medicina. Liber V, Caput XXVIII, De impetiginis speciebus

  4. Elmets CA (2006) An animal model of psoriasis in mice deficient in epidermal Jun proteins. Arch Dermatol 142: 1499-1500
  5. Gordon KB et al.(2015) A Phase 2 Trial of Guselkumab versus Adalimumab for Plaque Psoriasis. N Engl J Med 373:136-144.
  6. Gudjonsson JE et al.(2003) Psoriasis patients who are homozygous for the HLA-Cw*0602 allele have a 2.5-fold increased risk of developing psoriasis compared with Cw6 heterozygotes. Br J Dermatol 148:233-235.
  7. Hebra of F (1854) Traité pratique des maladies de la peau. Paris, p. 479
  8. Henes JC et al (2014) High prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in dermatological patients with psoriasis: a cross-sectional study. Rheumatol Int 34:227-234.
  9. Jacobi A et al (2016) Psoriasis in childhood. Skin 16: 22-23
  10. Kibre P (1945) Hippocratic Writings in the Middle Ages. Bulletin of the History of Medicine XVIII: 371-412
  11. Rapp SR et al (1999) Psoriasis causes as much disability as other major medical diseases. JAAD 42: 401-407
  12. Scarborough J (1988) Galen Redivivus: An Essay Review. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 43: 313-321
  13. Schäkel K et al (2016) Pathogenesis of psoriasis vulgaris. Dermatologist 67: 422-430
  14. Thorleifsdottir RH et al (2016) HLA-Cw6 homozygosity in plaque psoriasis is associated with streptococcal throat
    infections and pronounced improvement after tonsillectomy: A prospective case series. J Am Acad Dermatol 75:889-896.
  15. Willan R (1796-1808) Description and Treatment of Cutaneous Diseases. J. Johnson, London, Vol. 1, pp. 152-188
  16. Willan R (1808) Papulosquamous diseases. In: Willan R (Eds.) On cutaneous diseases (1st ed.) J. Johnson, London, Vol. 1, p. 115
  17. Zweegers J et al (2017) Comparison of the 1- and 5-year effectiveness of adalimumab, etanercept and ustekinumab in patients with psoriasis in daily clinical practice: results fromthe prospective BioCAPTURE registry. Br J Dermatol 176:1001-1009.

Disclaimer

Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.

Authors

Last updated on: 29.10.2020