Background Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is often associated with glucocorticoid-dependent asthma and/or ear, nose and throat (ENT) manifestations. When immunosuppressants and/or mepolizumab are ineffective, dupilumab could be an option. We describe the safety and efficacy of off-label use of dupilumab in relapsing and/or refractory EGPA.
Patients and methods We conducted an observational multicentre study of EGPA patients treated with dupilumab. Complete response was defined by Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS)=0 and prednisone dose ≤4 mg/day, and partial response by BVAS=0 and prednisone dose >4 mg/day. Eosinophilia was defined as an eosinophil count >500/mm3.
Results Fifty-one patients were included. The primary indication for dupilumab was disabling ENT symptoms in 92%. After a median follow-up of 13.1 months, 18 patients (35%) reported adverse events (AEs), including two serious AEs. Eosinophilia was reported in 34 patients (67%), with a peak of 2195/mm3 (IQR 1268–4501) occurring at 13 weeks (IQR 4–36) and was associated with relapse in 41%. Twenty-one patients (41%) achieved a complete response and 12 (24%) a partial response. Sixteen (31%) patients experienced an EGPA relapse while on dupilumab, which was associated with blood eosinophilia in 14/16 (88%) patients. The median eosinophil count at the start of dupilumab was significantly lower in relapsers than in non-relapsers, as was the median time between stopping anti-IL-5/IL-5R and switching to dupilumab.
Conclusion These results suggest that dupilumab may be effective in treating patients with EGPA-related ENT manifestations. However, EGPA flares occurred in one-third of patients and were preceded by eosinophilia in 88%, suggesting that caution is required.
- Systemic vasculitis
- Immune System Diseases
- Biological Therapy
- Autoimmune Diseases
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors Data collection and analysis was performed by BM and BT. The first draft of the manuscript was written by BM and BT. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript and approved the final manuscript. BT is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.