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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 80, n° 6
pages 1658-1663 (juin 2019)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.01.040
accepted : 19 January 2019
Original Articles

Treatment of morphea with hydroxychloroquine: A retrospective review of 84 patients at Mayo Clinic, 1996-2013

Anagha Bangalore Kumar, MBBS a, Elizabeth K. Blixt, MD b, Lisa A. Drage, MD c, Rokea A. el-Azhary, MD, PhD c, David A. Wetter, MD c,
a Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 
c Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 
b Department of Dermatology, CentraCare Clinic, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 

Reprint requests: David A. Wetter, MD, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905.Department of DermatologyMayo Clinic200 First St SWRochesterMN55905

Few studies support treating morphea (localized scleroderma) with hydroxychloroquine.


To assess the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine treatment of morphea.


We conducted a retrospective study of 84 patients who had morphea and were treated with hydroxychloroquine monotherapy for at least 6 months at our institution from 1996 through 2013. The median times to initial and maximal responses were assessed.


Of the 84 patients (median age at diagnosis, 29.5 years), 65 (77.4%) were female, 36 (42.9%) had a complete response to hydroxychloroquine, 32 (38.1%) had a partial response greater than 50%, 10 (11.9%) had a partial response less than or equal to 50%, and 6 (7.1%) had no response. The median time to initial response was 4 months, and the median time to maximal response was 12 months. Ten patients (11.9%) experienced adverse effects from hydroxychloroquine; the most common adverse effect was nausea (6 patients).


Retrospective study.


Hydroxychloroquine is a valuable treatment for morphea because of its high response rate and low rate of adverse effects; however, prospective studies are needed to determine its true efficacy.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : antimalarial, connective tissue disease, en coup de sabre, hydroxychloroquine, localized scleroderma, morphea

Abbreviations used : CR, HCQ, NR, PR

 Funding sources: None.
 Conflicts of interest: None disclosed.

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