Is there an increased risk of cervical neoplasia in atopic dermatitis patients treated with oral immunosuppressive drugs?

F. M. Garritsen*, R. H.M. Verheijen, C. G. Gerestein, A. D. van Zuilen, J. A.F. Oosterhaven, M. van Dijk, C. A.F. Bruijnzeel-Koomen, M. L. Schuttelaar, M. S. de Bruin-Weller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Oral immunosuppressive drugs are frequently prescribed in young women with atopic dermatitis (AD). Immunocompromised patients may have a higher risk of developing high-risk HPV infections, cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical carcinoma. Most literature on patients using oral immunosuppressive drugs is available in organ transplant patients. Literature on the risk of developing cervical carcinoma in AD patients treated with oral immunosuppressive drugs is lacking. At this moment, there is no clear guideline/consensus on this topic, but in daily practice, questions arise concerning whether this risk is increased and whether more intensive screening in women using immunosuppressive drugs should take place. Objective: To investigate the occurrence of cervical carcinoma in women with AD treated with oral immunosuppressive drugs. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study in two university medical centres in the Netherlands, all female adult AD patients receiving oral immunosuppressive drugs (cyclosporine A, azathioprine, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium and extended release tacrolimus) for more than 2 months between 1989 and 1 January 2014 were included. Patient files in the national histopathology register were screened for PAP3a, CIN I, CIN II, CIN III and cervical carcinoma. Results: A total of 257 female AD patients with one or more treatment episodes from 1989 until 1 January 2014 were identified and included in this study. In 189 patients (73.5%), results of cervical examination were reported in the national histopathology database. Median total duration of treatment in these 189 women was 407.0 days (IQR 243.0–940.0). No cervical carcinoma during or following immunosuppressive therapy was found in our patient group. Conclusions: No intensified screening programme for cervical neoplasia seems necessary for women with AD using oral immunosuppressive drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28925576
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalJEADV : journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


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