Adalimumab treatment leads to reduction of tissue tumor necrosis factor-alpha correlated with venous leg ulcer improvement: A pilot study

Joshua D. Fox, Katherine L. Baquerizo-Nole, Brian R. Keegan, Flor Macquhae, Julia Escandon, Aliette Espinosa, Carmen Perez, Paolo Romanelli, Robert Kirsner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) have higher tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels compared with normal skin. Refractory VLUs of long duration have higher TNF-α levels compared with VLUs of shorter duration. As up to 75% of VLUs fail to heal with standard care, we sought to evaluate the role of anti-TNF-α therapy for patients with refractory VLUs. Evaluable data were obtained in four of five subjects with recalcitrant VLUs treated with 80mg of subcutaneous adalimumab at week 0 and with 40mg at week 2 along with compression therapy and were followed-up for 6weeks. Wound biopsies taken at weeks 0 and 4 were stained with anti-TNF-α antibodies. Average 4-week percent wound size reduction was 20.5%±6.4%. Two patients had wound size reduction more than 25%, and their percent wound size reduction correlated to percent TNF-α staining score reductions (P=0.02, R2=0.999). VLU TNF-α level decrease 4weeks post-adalimumab treatment correlated with wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Wound Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2015



  • Adalimumab
  • Chronic wound
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • TNF-alpha
  • Venous leg ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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