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Pentoxyphylline in association with vitamin E reduces cutaneous fibrosis in systemic sclerosis

Posted Feb 13 2010 12:00am

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a disorder characterized by skin thickness and vasculopathy. The objective of the study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect and safety of the association of pentoxyphylline and vitamin E in SSc patients. Twelve SSc patients (American College of Rheumatology criteria) enrolled this 24-week open-label study.

Patients received daily 800 mg of pentoxyphylline and 800 UI of vitamin E and were evaluated at 4-week interval. The primary efficacy endpoint was the change in Modified Rodnan Skin Score (MRSS) at week 24. Nine diffuse SSc patients treated 6 months with cyclophosphamide were used as a historical control group. The mean age of the treated group was 43.6 years, and ten of 12 (84%) patients were women.

Their mean MRSS reduced from 25.7 to 18.7 (p = 0.03) at 16th week and remained significantly reduced throughout the study. In contrast, only a trend of MRSS reduction was observed in the historical control group (p = 0.06). Two patients started the study with active ischemic ulcers and ended with a complete healing of them.

No serious side effects were reported. Pentoxyphylline and vitamin E might be an alternative therapeutic approach in SSc patients.

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