Subcutaneous immunotherapy with a depigmented polymerized birch pollen extract - a new therapeutic option for patients with atopic dermatitis
BackgroundBirch pollen is an important outdoor allergen able to aggravate symptoms in atopic dermatitis (AD). Specific immunotherapy (SIT), an established procedure for allergic airway diseases, might also represent an attractive therapeutic option for the causal treatment of allergen-triggered cutaneous symptoms in these patients. Studies with house dust mite SIT have already shown beneficial effects in AD patients, whereas the safety and efficacy of SIT with birch pollen extract in AD patients have not been studied so far. The aim of this study was to evaluate for the first time the safety and efficacy of SIT with a depigmented polymerized birch pollen extract in AD patients.
MethodsFifty-five adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD and clinically relevant sensitization to birch pollen received SIT for 12 weeks. SIT was continued during birch pollen season. The assessment of safety, the total SCORAD value, and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) were evaluated.
ResultsThe median total SCORAD value was reduced by 34% (p < 0.001) during the course of treatment and the mean DLQI improved by 49% (p < 0.001) despite strong simultaneous birch pollen exposure. Eight patients (14.5%) developed systemic reactions and 19 patients (34.5%) developed local reactions which were of mild intensity in most cases. No patient discontinued the study prematurely due to adverse drug reactions. Coseasonal treatment was well tolerated.
ConclusionSIT with a depigmented polymerized birch pollen extract leads to significant improvement of the SCORAD value and the DLQI in patients suffering from moderate-to-severe AD sensitized to birch pollen.
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