• Open Access

Efalizumab in the Treatment of Scalp, Palmoplantar and Nail Psoriasis: Results of a 24-Week Latin American Study


María Denise Takahashi, Faculdade de Medicina de USP, Hospital das Clinicas, Av. Dr Eneas de Carvalho Aguiar 255 3°, Andar Sala 3070—Divisao de Dermatologia, Cerqueira Cesar—São Paulo 05403-900, Brazil. Tel: +55 11 3088 4818; Fax: +55 11 3088 9145; E-mail: denisetakahashi@uol.com.br


Introduction.  Plaque-type psoriasis affecting the nails, scalp, hands or feet can often be difficult to treat; for example, topical treatments and phototherapy may not penetrate the nail plate or scalp. The objective of this large, international, multicentre study was to investigate the efficacy of efalizumab in a Latin American population of adult patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis who were candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Methods.  Eligible patients were enrolled in a 24-week, open-label, single-arm, Phase IIIb/IV study of continuous treatment with subcutaneous efalizumab, 1.0 mg/kg/wk. Involvement of the nails, scalp, or hands or feet was assessed using the Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (NAPSI), the Psoriasis Scalp Severity Index (PSSI), or the Palmoplantar Pustulosis Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PPPASI), respectively. Missing data were handled using a last observation carried forward or nonresponder imputation approach.

Results.  Of the 189 patients who received treatment, 112 patients had nail involvement, 172 had scalp involvement, and 19 had palmoplantar disease at baseline. At Week 24, ≥50% improvement on the NAPSI, PSSI and PPPASI was observed in 31%, 71% and 68% of patients, respectively, whereas ≥75% improvement on these scores was observed in 17%, 52% and 63%, respectively. Descriptive statistics showed lower NAPSI-75 and higher PSSI-75 and -50 response rates among patients with higher baseline scores.

Conclusions.  This open-label, uncontrolled study provides supportive evidence of the potential of efalizumab as a treatment for nail, scalp and palmoplantar psoriasis.