All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for February 2004

Scleromyxedema in a patient with multiple sclerosis and monoclonal gammopathy on interferon beta-1a

Mult Scler. 2004 Feb;10(1):85-6
Kumar N, Rodriguez M.
Department of Neurology, Mayo Medical and Graduate Schools, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Animal studies have shown that some human monoclonal antibodies promote myelin repair in models of demyelinating disease.

Scleromyxedema is a dermatologic disorder associated with a monoclonal gammopathy and neurologic manifestations.

The reason for occurrence of cutaneous reactions in interferon treated patients is unknown.


A 37-year-old woman was started on weekly interferon beta-1a (IFN beta-1a) following a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

After having been on interferon therapy for three years, she developed skin lesions secondary to scleromyxedema.

Her IFN beta-1a was discontinued and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy was started for her scleromyxedema.

At a six-month follow up, her skin lesions improved and there was no recurrence of neurologic symptoms.


This is the first report of occurrence of scleromyxedema in a patient with MS.

While this could be a chance association, it does raise the question if her neurologic manifestations could be secondary to scleromyxedema.

Further research into the mechanism of IFN related cutaneous side effects is needed.

Evidence regarding the remyelinating nature of human monoclonal antibodies raises interest in the potential therapeutic role these antibodies may have.