Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa with Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha Inhibitors


  • Pia Haslund
  • Robert A. Lee
  • Gregor B.E. Jemec



itors, infliximab, etanercept: adalimumab


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a common inflammatory skin disease. Medical treatment is often disappointing and in severe disease surgery remains the therapy of choice. Extensive surgery may be effective but also mutilating. Patients experience a significant reduction in quality of life and the need for new treatment modalities are urgent. In recent years patients with HS have been treated off-label with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors with a varying degrees of effect. We performed a systematic review of papers retrieved from two databases (PubMed and Web of Science) using the follow-ing keywords: hidradenitis suppurativa, acne inversa, infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab. A total of 34 publications were retrieved, describing treatment of 105 patients. Most cases report treatment with infliximab (52/105). A positive treatment outcome was reported in 90/105 cases, with only 7/105 non-responders and 8/105 patients experiencing side-effects. The side-effects were comparable to those seen in other TNF-alpha inhibitor studies. In the majority of cases the treatment was effective when given as a suppressive therapy, but 15/105 cases were described with long-term remission (>or= 3 months) after the end of therapy. In most publications follow-up was, however, insufficient to allow a systematic exploration of this. TNF-alpha inhibitors seem to be effective in the treatment of HS. However, several questions remain to be answered through specific studies. This review has also identified a need for more standardized reporting of the outcomes as well as randomized controlled trials in this disease.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Haslund, P., A. Lee, R., & Jemec, G. B. (2009). Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa with Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha Inhibitors. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 89(6), 595–600.




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>