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Abstract

Background

Numerous therapeutic modalities have been proposed to treat the manifestations of pachyonychia congenita (PC). While research hopes lie with molecular therapies, patients are in need of answers regarding the efficacy of conventional treatments.

Aim of the study

To determine patients' experience and preferences regarding conventional treatments for PC.

Methods

The study population included 120 PC patients from 20 countries. The study was based on a patient survey developed by physicians and researchers from the International Pachyonychia Congenita Consortium and conducted via the internet. Using an effectiveness scale of 1 to 5, the patients were asked to grade treatments for different manifestations, including keratoderma, cysts, follicular hyperkeratosis, fingernail and toenail involvement.

Results

Patients reported surgical treatments being most effective for cysts and mechanical treatments the most effective conventional therapeutic approach for all other investigated manifestations. The other conventional medical treatments were found to be non-effective to only slightly effective. Among patients with keratoderma, older people were more likely to report beneficial effect from mechanical treatments (P = 0.04), topical retinoids (P = 0.04) and topical steroids (P = 0.02). Likewise, females were more inclined to report filing and grinding beneficial than males (P = 0.02). Finally, carriers of KRT16 and KRT6a were more likely to benefit from keratolytics than carriers of mutations in KRT17 (P = 0.04).

Conclusions

None of the currently available therapeutic options for PC are ideal, although they provide some relief, with mechanical/surgical options being preferred over medical therapies. These results emphasize the need for more efficient and targeted therapies.