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Treatment of disseminated granuloma annulare with fumaric acid esters

Alexander Kreuter, Thilo Gambichler*, Peter Altmeyer and Norbert H Brockmeyer

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Gudrunstrasse 56, 44791 Bochum, Germany

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BMC Dermatology 2002, 2:5  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-2-5

Published: 19 March 2002



Granuloma annulare is a granulomatous disease of unknown etiology. Various therapies have been tried in disseminated granuloma annulare (DGA), including corticosteroids, several variants of psoralen plus ultraviolet-A radiation, ultraviolet- A1 radiation, systemic retinoids, and dapsone, with variable success. We report a patient with recalcitrant DGA who was treated with fumaric acid esters (FAE).

Case presentation

A 40-year old Caucasian woman presented with a 25-year history of recalcitrant DGA. On both legs and the abdomen there were erythematous annular plaques. She was treated with FAE in tablet form using two formulations differing in strength (low strength tablets: 30 mg dimethylfumarate, 67 mg monoethylfumarate Ca salt, 5 mg monoethylfumarate Mg salt, 3 mg monoethylfumarate Zn salt; high strength tablets: 120 mg dimethylfumarate, 87 mg monoethylfumarate Ca salt, 5 mg monoethylfumarate Mg salt, 3 mg monoethylfumarate Zn salt). After three-month therapy, an almost complete clearance of skin lesions was achieved. With the exception of temporary lymphopenia, no adverse effects were observed. The patient remained in remission during a six-month follow up period.


Our observation has demonstrated that FAE is a potentially beneficial therapeutic option for patients with recalcitrant DGA. However controlled trials are necessary to fully explore the efficacy, optimal dosage, and safety of FAE in the management of DGA.