Friday, November 13, 2009
New Treatment for Dupuytrens
The FDA's Arthritis Advisory Committee has approved a new treatment for treating advanced Dupuytren's disease. If approved, this would be the first nonsurgical therapy for the disorder.
Dupuytren's disease (named for Guillaume Dupuytren, 1778, of course) is a formation of scar tissue under the skin of the palm of the hand. This scar tissue pulls the flexor tendon of the fingers and causes the fingers to slowly be pulled into a grip. Over time, the contracture progresses and the skin is pulled in a fixed flexed position. Dupuytren's disease is inherited and it occurs mainly in males.
When the Dupuytren contracture was bad enough, the only treatment previously was surgical release of the scar tissue. (see image above...yikes) Even after surgery, the disease can recur. The new treatment is an injectable biologic treatment that breaks down collagen. The bacterium Clostridium histolyticum, is injected into the cord at 4 week intervals for three injections. In double blind studies, patients treated with collagenase clostridium had almost a complete reduction in contractures compared with those who received placebo.
Ain't science wonderful?
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 6:54 AM