Treatment of severe psoriasis in children: Recommendations of an Italian expert group

Anna Belloni Fortina, Federico Bardazzi, Samantha Berti, Claudia Carnevale, Vito Di Lernia, Maya El Hachem, Iria Neri, Carlo Mario Gelmetti, Viviana Lora, Carlo Mazzatenta, Mirella Milioto, Gaia Moretta, Annalisa Patrizi, Ketty Peris, Alberto Villani

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29 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides comprehensive recommendations for the systemic treatment of severe pediatric psoriasis based on evidence obtained from a systematic review of the literature and the consensus opinion of expert dermatologists and pediatricians. For each systemic treatment, the grade of recommendation (A, B, C) based on the treatment’s approval by the European Medicines Agency for childhood psoriasis and the experts’ opinions is discussed. The grade of recommendation for narrow-band-ultraviolet B phototherapy, cyclosporine, and retinoids is C, while that for methotrexate is C/B. The use of adalimumab, etanercept, and ustekinumab has a grade A recommendation. No conventional systemic treatments are approved for pediatric psoriasis. Adalimumab is approved by the European Medicines Agency as a first-line treatment for severe chronic plaque psoriasis in children (≥ 4 years old) and adolescents. Etanercept and ustekinumab are approved as second-line therapy in children ≥6 and ≥ 12 years, respectively. Conclusion: A treatment algorithm as well as practical tools (i.e., tabular summaries of differential diagnoses, treatment mechanism of actions, dosing regimens, control parameters) are provided to assist in therapeutic reasoning and decision-making for individual patients. These treatment recommendations are endorsed by major Italian Pediatric and Dermatology Societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1354
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Biologics
  • Consensus
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic therapy


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