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Facial and neck erythema associated with dupilumab treatment: A systematic review

Published:January 07, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2021.01.012

      Background

      Neither dupilumab-associated facial erythema nor neck erythema was reported in phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, but there have been a number of reports of patients developing this adverse event in clinical practice.

      Objective

      To outline all cases of reported dupilumab-associated facial or neck erythema to better characterize this adverse event, and identify potential etiologies and management strategies.

      Methods

      A search was conducted on EMBASE and PubMed databases. Two independent reviewers identified relevant studies for inclusion and performed data extraction.

      Results

      A total of 101 patients from 16 studies were reported to have dupilumab-associated facial or neck erythema. A total of 52 of 101 patients (52%) had baseline atopic dermatitis facial or neck involvement and 45 of 101 (45%) reported different cutaneous symptoms from preexisting atopic dermatitis, possibly suggesting a different etiology. Suggested etiologies included rosacea, allergic contact dermatitis, and head and neck dermatitis. Most commonly used treatments included topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and antifungal agents. In the 57 patients with data on the course of the adverse events, improvement was observed in 29, clearance in 4, no response in 16, and worsening in 8. A total of 11 of 101 patients (11%) discontinued dupilumab owing to this adverse event.

      Limitations

      Limited diagnostic testing, nonstandardized data collection and reporting across studies, and reliance on retrospective case reports and case series.

      Conclusion

      Some patients receiving dupilumab develop facial or neck erythema that differs from their usual atopic dermatitis symptoms. Prompt identification and empiric treatment may minimize distress and potential discontinuation of dupilumab owing to this adverse event.

      Key words

      Abbreviation used:

      Th (T helper cell type)
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