Treatment of vasculitic leg ulcers in connective tissue disease with Iloprost
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Leg ulcers are a recognised manifestation of cutaneous vasculitis in connective tissue diseases (CTDs) including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Iloprost a stable prostacyclin analogue has been sucessfully used to treat Raynaud's phenomenon and digital ulcers associated with CTD's. Our aim was to assess iloprost in the treatment of vasculitic leg ulcers in CTD. In this paper we describe eight cases of vasculitic leg ulceration in association with RA and CTD, treated with intravenous iloprost. The iloprost was administered for 6–8 hours daily and continued for 21–28 days. Immunosuppressive therapy was required in three patients with severe necrotising vasculitis (RAnv). Complete ulcer healing was achieved in four patients within 6 weeks of commencing therapy while rapid improvement occurred in the other four patients. This suggests that iloprost may be useful as an adjunct to therapy for vasculitic leg ulcers. A double-blind placebo controlled study of iloprost therapy for RA leg ulcers is under way.
Key wordsVasculitis Leg Ulcers Iloprost
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