Outcome of dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy in pemphigus: a case series.

Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology

PubMedID: 19584462

Kandan S, Thappa DM. Outcome of dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy in pemphigus: a case series. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2009;75(4):373-8.
BACKGROUND
Pemphigus disorders are a group of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases affecting skin and/or mucus membranes. Dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse (DCP) therapy has shown promising results in the management of these diseases.

AIMS
The objective of the study was to assess the outcome of DCP therapy in pemphigus.

METHODS
Pemphigus patients who had been treated with DCP therapy from 2001 to 2008 were prospectively and retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS
A total of 65 pemphigus patients were enrolled. Male to female ratio was 1 : 1.82. Mean age of patients was 44.65 +/- 11.85 years with a range of 14 to 73 years. Thirty two patients completed phase I, of which 28 (9 in phase II, 7 in phase III and 12 in phase III) were maintaining remission and four patients relapsed. Relapse was observed only in patients who discontinued or took irregular treatment. Six patients were declared cured of disease. Five patients died during phase I. Dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy is not absolutely free from adverse effects. Most of the immediate side effects were expected, tolerable and did not pose any problem in continuing treatment. There was a slight increased incidence of weight gain, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cataract and Cushingoid habitus, since most of our patients also received additional daily oral steroids. Also, there was a high incidence of secondary pyogenic infections of skin lesions and oral candidiasis during phase I. Staphylococcus aureus was the commonest bacteria isolated from the pus of skin lesions. Most of the alterations in laboratory parameters were transitory or correctable, and did not pose a problem in continuing therapy.

CONCLUSIONS
DCP therapy was found to be effective in inducing and maintaining remission in pemphigus, provided the patients receive regular and complete treatment.