Plaque thickness and morphology in psoriasis vulgaris associated with therapeutic response

T. Rakkhit, J. M. Panko, T. E. Christensen, B. Wong, T. Nelson, J. Papenfuss, C. B. Hansen, K. Callis-Duffin, G. G. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background The Utah Psoriasis Initiative (UPI) is an expanding database that is being used to identify and characterize phenotypic variants of psoriasis and explore genotype-phenotype relationships. We recently reported distinct morphological variants of psoriasis that are characterized by thickness of lesions (induration) in the untreated state. Objectives To explore the clinical relevance of these morphological variants. Methods For these analyses, we used the phenotypic data from 282 additional subjects gathered at enrolment into the UPI and compared their phenotype with that of the original 500 patients reported previously. The analysis was further expanded via a longitudinal follow-up of 286 subjects from the original 500 case cohort. Results Firstly, the initial findings were confirmed. Expansion of the cohort used for the original observation by about 50% and reanalysis showed that there was no alteration in the proportions of patients expressing thin- and thick-plaque disease phenotypes. Secondly, analysis of the larger cohort showed that this morphological phenotype had clinical relevance: those patients with thin-plaque disease were more likely to report a complete therapeutic response to topical corticosteroids and phototherapy. In contrast, plaque thickness did not appear to be a factor in response to systemic agents. Conclusions Using a patient's baseline plaque morphology to choose a primary treatment modality may result in earlier disease improvement and reduce the cost of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1089
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Plaque thickness
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic medications
  • Topical steroids
  • UV radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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