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Is pimecrolimus cream (1%) an appropriate therapeutic agent for the treatment of external ear atopic dermatitis?

Güçlü Kaan Beriat, Şefik Halit Akmansu, Cem Doğan, Eren Taştan, Ferda Topal, Bizden Sabuncuoğlu

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(4): BR135-143

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.882615

Background:    In recent years, pimecrolimus 1% cream has been demonstrated to reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis in patients when applied topically.
    Material/Methods:    In our study we compared the therapeutic effects of local 1% pimecrolimus to 1% hydrocortisone, and to a control group in a mouse model with atopic dermatitis in the external ear canals. Atopic dermatitis was created by application of Dinitrochlorobenzene in the external ear canals of mice. The development of atopic dermatitis was detected by clinical observation score and determination of total serum IgE levels. Pimecrolimus and hydrocortisone cream were topically applied to the external ear canal skin once a day for 14 days.
    Results:    There was no significant difference between the hydrocortisone and the pimecrolimus therapy groups, while there was a statistically significant difference between these 2 groups and the control group (p<0.05) Assessment of the clinical observation scoring carried out on the 14th day of therapy revealed that there was no difference between the hydrocortisone and pimecrolimus groups. Biopsies were taken on the 14th day following treatment. Tissue samples were histologically evaluated; contact dermatitis was observed microscopically in the control group, but in the therapy groups only minimal evidence of contact dermatitis was found.
    Conclusions:    The results of our study reveal that the therapeutic efficacy of 1% pimecrolimus was equivalent to 1% hydrocortisone treatment in the artificially developed atopic dermatitis model in external ear canals of mice. These results clearly demonstrate that 1% pimecrolimus cream can be an effective alternative therapeutic agent in cases where steroid treatment proves to be insufficient or in cases where treatment must be discontinued due to its adverse effects.

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