, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp 2949-2954
Date: 05 Jul 2013

Characteristics and Treatment of Pyoderma Gangrenosum in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Pyoderma gangrenosum is a serious cutaneous complication seen in approximately 1 % of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Oral corticosteroids are the mainstay treatment, although the evidence supporting their use is weak.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of pyoderma gangrenosum associated with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and which treatments are prescribed in Spanish clinical practice.


In this retrospective, observational study, the medical records from all patients with IBD and a diagnosis of pyoderma gangrenosum attended by the gastroenterology departments of 12 Spanish hospitals were reviewed. Data on patient demographics and characteristics, underlying IBD and treatment, and pyoderma gangrenosum characteristics, treatment, and outcome were collected and analyzed.


The data from 67 patients were analyzed (41 [61.2 %] women, 41 [61.2 %] with Crohn’s disease, 25 [37.3 %] with ulcerative colitis, and 1 [1.5 %] with indeterminate disease). The underlying disease was in remission in approximately one-third of patients at the time of presentation of pyoderma gangrenosum. Healing was achieved in all patients (in 3 without any systemic therapy). Oral corticosteroids were taken by 51 patients (76.1 %), almost always as first-line treatment, although definitive healing was attained in 19 (28.4 %). Biologic agents such as infliximab and adalimumab were taken by 31 patients (46.3 %) at some point (first-line in 6 patients [9.0 %]), with definitive healing in 29 patients (93.5 %).


Oral corticosteroid therapy remains the most common treatment for pyoderma gangrenosum associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Biologic therapies such as infliximab and adalimumab should also be considered.