Treatment of pyoderma gangrenosum with thalidomide in a myelodysplastic syndrome case

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INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CASE REPORTS JOURNAL, vol.9, pp.61-64, 2016 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Thalidomide may be used as a treatment option for pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Herein, we aimed to report a patient who was treated well with thalidomide and whose diagnosis was PG with MDS. A 61-year-old man with painless ecchymotic lesions in his right upper extremity was admitted to the hospital in Isparta, Turkey, in January 2015. The lesions were diagnosed as PG. In his anamnesis, it was found that he was diagnosed with MDS 6 years ago and had been treated with cyclosporine at 2x100 mg for 5 years, which was stopped in January 2015. Aspiration from liver lesion revealed the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, so antituberculosis treatment was started. Bone marrow investigation revealed MDS-refractory anemia with excess blasts (7%). For lesions in bilateral upper extremities, thalidomide treatment was started at 50 mg/d. After 1 month from the initiation of thalidomide treatment, the lesions in upper extremities had disappeared. In the literature, there are some reports of patients with PG who were successfully treated with thalidomide. Our patient is a complicated case who simultaneously has MDS, PG, and tuberculosis infection. The reason for thalidomide usage in our patient was the need of immune modulation without immune suppression. Our patient has tolerated the drug well, and excellent response was obtained after 1 month of initiation of thalidomide treatment. To conclude, thalidomide is a very effective drug acting as an immune modulator, which is useful in the clinical management of both MDS and PG.