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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb 20

J Clin Pharmacol

Treprostinil Hydrogel Iontophoresis in Systemic Sclerosis-Related Digital Skin Ulcers: A Safety Study.


Guigui A, Mazet R, Blaise S, Cracowski C, Beau-Guillaumot M, Kotzki S, Roustit M, Cracowski J-L
J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Feb 20.
PMID: 32080862.


Digital skin ulcers are a severe complication of systemic sclerosis. The first-line treatment is intravenous iloprost, but it induces dose-limiting adverse effects. Local administration of treprostinil through skin iontophoresis may be a safe alternative. We conducted a 2-stage, randomized, placebo-controlled single-ascending-dose study in healthy volunteers and patients with systemic sclerosis-related digital ulcer. We further explored the effect of the procedure on skin blood flux. In a first group of healthy subjects, treprostinil and placebo iontophoresis were performed at 3 locations (ie, 6 skin sites): the sole of the foot, the leg, and the fingers. We used a 1-mg/mL hydrogel of treprostinil. We then randomly treated systemic sclerosis-related digital ulcers in a 3:1 ratio of treprostinil or placebo. We used concentrations from 0.1 to 1 mg/mL. All adverse events were recorded and rated according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE), whereas skin microvascular blood flux was recorded with laser speckle contrast imaging. Among the 12 healthy volunteers, we observed 60 local adverse effects: burns, skin pain, erythema, and pruritus, graded 1 or 2 on the 5-point CTCAE scale. Treprostinil iontophoresis significantly increased skin blood flux on the leg (AUC at 88 460% ± 6436% versus 12 730% ± 3397% baseline flux.min respectively; P < .001) and on the sole of the foot (AUC at 20 124% ± 6119% versus 3142% ± 3036% baseline flux.min, respectively; P = .018) with a trend on the finger. Among 5 patients with systemic sclerosis-related digital ulcer, 2 resolutive local adverse effects were reported. Iontophoresis of treprostinil hydrogel was safe in systemic sclerosis patients with digital ulcer.