Content » Vol 68, Issue 6

Clinical and ultrastructural effects of acitretin in Darier´s disease

Lauharanta J, Kanerva L, Turjanmaa K, Geiger JM.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555568492498


Thirteen patients with Darier´s disease with a mean extent of the lesions of 29.4 +/- 10% of the total skin area were treated with acitretin (the main metabolite of etretinate) for 16 weeks. The dose was 30 mg/day during the initial 8 weeks and was later adjusted individually to 10-30 mg/day in order to achieve optimal results. Three patients cleared completely, 7 patients showed marked improvement and 3 patients became slightly better during treatment. The mean extent of the lesions after the treatment was 7.3 +/- 8% of the skin area. Despite good clinical clearing, the improvement at the ultrastructural level was incomplete in the 3 patients studied by electron microscopy. Normal stratification did not develop and the size and number of desmosomes remained reduced. The main side effects during treatment were pruritus in 5 patients, diffuse alopecia in 2 patients and marked elevation in serum triglycerides in 4 patients. On the basis of this study, acitretin would seem to be a useful alternative to etretinate for the treatment of Darier´s disease.


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